Ir THE JOURNAL OF THE HISTORICAL
ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Editor: Charlton W. Tebeau
NUMBER XXV 1 9 65
William Adee Whitehead's Reminiscences of Key West 3
Edited by Thelma Peters
First in Palm Beach 43
By Louis Capron
A Short History of Liguus Collecting with a List of Collectors 67
By Ralph H. Humes
Three Early Spanish Tampa Bay Maps 83
By Charles W. Arnade
Two Spanish Expeditions to Southwest Florida, 1783-1793 97
By Jack D. L. Holmes
The Association's Historical Marker Program 109
Treasurer's Report 110
List of Members 112
COPYRIGHT 1965 BY THE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
'etj4est'* is published annually by the Historical Asociation of Southern Florida
and the University of Miami. Communications should be addressed to
the Corresponding Secretary of the Society, 2010 North Bayshore Drive, Miami 37,
Florida. Neither the Association nor the University assumes responsibility for statements
of fact or opinion made by contributors.
This Page Blank in Original
William Adee Whitehead's
Reminiscences of Key West
Edited by THELMA PETERS
William Adee Whitehead, a young civil engineer, went to Key West from
New Jersey in 1828 to be with his brother John, a property owner and
merchant in the little island city. With a multiplicity of talents and a lively
interest in his surroundings William entered wholeheartedly into the life of
the community. In 1829 he was employed to make an official survey of the
island, and the following year, still under age, he was appointed collector of
customs, a position he held until he moved away from Florida in 1838, at
which time he was also serving as mayor. In 1835, to a request for informa-
tion about Key West from a gentleman in St. Augustine, he responded with a
four-thousand-word descriptive, historical, and economic report.1 His pencil
sketches of the town are almost as detailed as photographs and remain the
best pictorial record we have of early Key West.2
After he left Florida Whitehead engaged in business in New York City
and in Newark, New Jersey, and seemingly prospered. But he was more
than a business man, he was always something of a scholar. He became a
charter member of a historical society in New Jersey and steadily pursued
the study and writing of local history. For thirty years he also made me-
teorological observations which he reported at intervals to a New York news-
1 Whitehead's report to the "gentleman in St. Augustine" is given in its entirety in
Rembert W. Patrick, editor: "William Adee Whitehead's Description of Key West,"
Tequesta, XII (1952), 61-72.
a Two of Whitehead's pencil sketches of Key West are reproduced in Jefferson B. Browne:
Key West The Old and The New, The Record Company, St. Augustine, 1912.
paper and to the Smithsonian Institution.- Though he never returned to
Florida he never lost interest in Key West. When his son and his brother John
returned from a visit to the island in 1864 he must have enjoyed listening to
an account of their experiences. He must have been pleased knowing that his
family name of Whitehead, his own given name and the given names of his
sisters and brother, Caroline, Margaret, Emma, and Thomas were all perpe-
tuated as street names in Key West.
When the first published history of Key West, A Sketch of the History
of Key West by Walter C. Maloney, made its appearance in the Fall of 1876
Whitehead immediately acquired a copy. The year that Whitehead left Key
West was the year Maloney arrived there. Whether the two men met is not
known but they surely corresponded. Whitehead's memories of his youth
were stirred by Maloney's Sketch and he began to write his reminiscences.
These were printed serially in a Key West newspaper, Key of the Gulf, in
1877. Whitehead had his copy of Maloney rebound so as to include thirty
blank pages on which he pasted the clippings of the Reminiscences. This
unique personal volume, Maloney and Whitehead in one binding with White-
head's wispy signature on the fly leaf, eventually became a part of the Mark
Boyd Collection and is now owned by the Library of the University of Miami.
Fires, hurricanes, and insects have long ago destroyed most nineteenth
century Key West newspapers. It is fortunate Whitehead preserved the clip-
pings. No one else seems to have done so.
Only the first of the Reminiscences has the author's initials. All of
them are written in third person and the author refers to himself either as
Mr. Whitehead or as the Collector of Customs. That he kept a detailed
Journal we know for he quotes from it at length in Reminiscences Eleven and
Twelve. The availability of the Journal would account for the clarity and
accuracy of the Reminiscences. These are no fuzzy musings of an old man
but an intelligent, lively, and often humorous, blending of historical fact and
personal anecdote, and are sure to delight Florida historians.
a Browne (above) has a short biographical sketch of Whitehead, page 200, Appendix D.
He says that Whitehead presented a fine portrait of himself to the City of Key West
shortly before his death, further proof that Whitehead never lost interest in the island
city which he had pioneered.
REMINISCENCES OF KEY WEST
No. 1 (March 31)
On turning over the pages of Mr. Maloney's interesting Historical Sketch
of Key West,-particularly interesting to those whose recollections, like those
of the writer, extend back to within a few years of its settlement-many
circumstances and many men connected with the events he narrates have
been brought to mind, that might otherwise never have been awakened from
their long repose in memory's treasure-house. As there may be some among
your readers to whom additional facts, and further illustrative matter relating
to the Island may be acceptable, I will from time to time, with your permis-
sion, occupy a portion of your columns with reminiscences having that aim.
It is a difficult matter to the members of an active business community
of 12,000 persons, like Key West of the present day, to realize the quietness
ordinarily prevailing, or the avocations of the inhabitants when there were
only four or five hundred on the island. There were times when the hours
hung very heavily upon both young and old, and the absence of the restraining
and modifying influences of educated and refined females was much felt in
the early years of the settlement. Men, even of the better class, are apt to
become regardless of both the outward and the inward elements of true man-
liness when left to themselves, and in those days the want of varied and
healthful means of recreation and amusement, to supply the absence of
refined society, naturally led to long sittings over "the wine cup" at the dinner
table of the only general boarding house-to frequent private carousals-and
to almost nightly miscellaneous assemblages, where the sound of the violin
regulated the agile steps of the dancers, in houses both of white and colored
residents. Yet there were not many given to habitual inebriation and only a
few were known as leading avowedly immoral lives. The changes adverted to
by Mr. Maloney as consequent upon the arrival of several ladies connected
with the Naval, Judicial and Commercial Officers, were effective and gratifying.
The want of varied amusements naturally led to efficiency in the various
games of cards, and only those who, like the writer, disliked to excite the ill
tempers of their partners by misleads or improper trumping, failed to
become experts from practice. So too, was Chess generally played, and so
skillfully that much amusement was at one time caused by the arrival of a
young army officer, who prided himself upon his playing well, but who in
a short time was convinced that if he wished to be victor in the game, he must
go elsewhere, having been beaten by every one with whom he played.
Mr. Maloney draws the attention of his readers to the advantages they
enjoy above their predecessors in their postal facilities. It is not to be
presumed that the anxiety and longing which the waiting for that monthly
mail occasioned, can be imagined by the present generation. Although a
chance vessel might now and then bring with her a newspaper, yet the regular
files, by which alone the continuous history of affairs in the outer world is
known, coming only monthly, were welcomed with peculiar pleasure. The
Custom-house was a favorite place of resort at such times. The Collector
receiving generally several different files, the gentlemen of the bar, merchants
and others would gather on his piazza and as they looked over their papers
and descanted upon the contents-each interested in a different topic as his
taste or profession prompted-the effect was sometimes very ludicrous. One,
with an exclamation intended to attract the attention of all the others, would
let fall some precious morsel of "foreign news," to which would chime
another a great fall in Cotton"-a third would announce that "Clara Fisher
was playing in New Orleans"-a fourth would insist upon all listening to
"an excellent anecdote"-and a fifth enunciate with much emphasis an "im-
portant decision of the Supreme Court," the mixture of politics, news, and
extraordinary circumstances creating a miniature Babel. And then, too, the
important air with which the mass of mingled intelligence thus accumulated
would be promulged, was very amusing, so much self-satisfaction being
evinced at having it in their power once more to speak of the affairs of the
great world of which for a whole month they had been in ignorance. Some-
times an item of general interest would elicit opinions and discussions, in
which all of these visitors at the Custom-house would take part. Memory
recalls one such occasion, when announcements were read of wonderful
improvements in the transmission of the mails between New York and New
Orleans. The number of days is not now recollected, but it far exceeded the
number now required. Among those present was Captain Bunce, a Balti-
morean by birth, an estimable man of many peculiarities, a believer in
"total abstinence" and yet of a hilarious disposition, and of a mathematical
and scientific turn; who expressed his wonder at some remarks made, indicat-
ing that the speaker thought the minimum time had been reached. His face
brightened up at his own joke-as it was considered-and he exclaimed,
"Why, my dear sir, mark my words, before many years you will see the
mails transported from place to place in almost no time at all. Tubes will be
laid in the ground; they will be exhausted of air; the mail bags will be put
in at one end, the air will be forced in behind them, and away they will
go." A laugh went round at his vivid picture of the imagination, in which
he joined, not one of those present entertaining, for a moment, the idea of
such an improvement. He did not live to see his prognostications verified,
but not many years thereafter a petition was presented to Congress-presented
it is thought by Senator Mallory from Key West, for an appropriation to
test this very mode of transmitting the mails-and in many places tubulated
rail-ways and similar modes of transportation are now in operation. The
writer has never heard of any suggestion towards such results, antedating
that of Captain Bunce in the piazza of the Custom House at Key West. W.A.W.
No. 2 (April 7)
DADE COUNTY AND INDIAN KEY
Dade County with its twelve votes in the Presidential contest, is no
longer looked after with the interest it was a few months ago, and, as was
recently announced in the New York Tribune, "has ceased to be of national
importance." There are however some facts in its history interesting to the
residents of the mother county-Monroe-which warrants its being referred
to somewhat more particularly than the scope of Mr. Maloney's address
permitted. They will show that, in connection with its principal settlement,
it has before been a somewhat prominent topic of discussion at the National
It was with much surprise to the good people of Key West that they
found their county shorn of its full dimensions by the act of the Territorial
legislature, in the winter of 1835-6, establishing the County of Dade. It was
done at the instance and through the influence of Mr. Jacob Housman, the
owner of Indian Key, with ulterior objects in view that were fully developed
in following years, calling into exercise many instrumentalities and measures
as unscrupulous in action and intent as can well be imagined. No one can
call in question the right of any individual to promote his own interests in
any way he may think advisable, provided the means adopted are not such
as are subversive of morality and good neighborhood, and calculated to
produce ill effects upon the community at large. But such was the tendency of
Mr. Housman's plans. Dade County, to him, meant Indian Key and nothing
more, for the inhabitants of Key Vacas were well known to be averse to a
separation from Monroe County.
The County established, the next step was to create a County Court and
to direct the Judge of the Superior Court of the District (possessing Ad-
miralty Jurisdiction) to hold two terms annually at Indian Key. A bill to
that effect was passed by the same legislature that established the County,
the members not being sufficiently enlightened as to the number of qualified
jurors available, or the intent of the measures, to object to it. So well con-
vinced however was the State Department, and Congress, of the little neces-
sity for the passage of this act that the repealing power (too seldom employed
in those days) was put in requisition, and in June 1836 it was struck from
the Territorial Statute Book. The influence previously excited was again
brought to bear at the next session of the legislature, and, aided by a recom-
mendation of the Governor in his message to the Council, to pass early whether
constitutional or not, leaving it to Congress to repeal them if they were not
what they should be, the objectionable measure was re-enacted.
But why so persistent? The act of 2nd March 1835 "relating to wrecks
on the coast of Florida" made it obligatory upon all engaged in saving vessels
or merchandise, to take the property that might come into their possession
to some Port of Entry within the jurisdiction of the United States. A Port of
Entry at Indian Key was the ultimate aim of the intriguers, and they very
naturally conceived that the want of an Admiralty Court would be a total
objection to making that island a depot for wrecked property.
Only give them the Court they would manufacture jurymen as occasion
required. The Court obtained for the time being, memorials were prepared
for signatures in all the principal ports from New Orleans to Boston, and
even in inland places, asking for Indian Key the privilege of a Port of Entry.
The one sent from the Key itself, professed to be from "citizens of Indian
Key, shippers, underwriters, masters of vessels and others interested in the
commercial and wrecking concerns of the Gulf and Reef of Florida," two
hundred and ninety-one in all, the fact that there were only about fifty
actual residents on the island of all sizes, ages, conditions and colors, not
being alluded to. In these documents the advantages of the island were
depicted in glowing colors. "In the important points of depth of water, good-
ness and security of anchorage"-said the "citizens" of Indian Key-"the
harbor is not excelled by any in this southern country, vessels of the largest
class may be brought with ease and perfect safety into the waters of this
port" * "when a custom house was asked for on this coast Indian Key was
scarcely known. Had its local advantages and certain situation been as well
understood as they now are, a port of entry would have been established here
rather than at any other port or place on this coast." Subsequently they even
went so far as to give the names of two Captains of Revenue Cutters and a
Captain of the Navy who were ready to certify to the remarkable depth of
water on the reef and in the harbor.
The writer does not recollect what was done under the act of Council
relating to the Superior Court, but the County Court was organized by the
appointment as Judge of one Thomas Jefferson Smith, from New York, who
having been long enough at Key West to impress the people generally with
his worthlessness, had betaken himself to Indian Key and become the factotum
of its owner. As no success attended the application for the Port of Entry at
the session of Congress in 1837-8, renewed and more earnest efforts were made
at the ensuing session. Among other characteristic measures this Smith was
sent to Washington, and through the possession of some recommendations
from Van Buren, Marcy, Butler and other politicians of New York, where
he had held at one time the office of Commissioner of Insolvency, he suc-
ceeded in getting the management of a newspaper called "The Metropolis,"
which being an Administration paper gave him for a time some influence and
led him to anticipate great success in his employer's cause. His supposed
important position did not always prevent his meeting with rebuffs even from
his party adherents. Upon the strength of his being Judge of Dade County
Court, he had the effrontery to claim admittance to the floor of Congress under
the rule according that privilege to Judges of District Courts, but he was
soon found out and excluded. While attending to the interests of Housman he,
of course, was not neglectful of his own, and Judge Webb being about to
resign his office, Smith had the audacity to aspire to the position and to
think-to use his own language in a paper in the writer's possession-that
the President was "favorably disposed toward him." It is sad to think how
much injury an unscrupulous man may do to others when he sets about it.
But here I leave the subject for the present.
No. 3 (April 21)
DADE COUNTY AND INDIAN KEY
The success of Thomas Jefferson Smith in convincing the members of
the Congress of 1838-9 that Indian Key merited being made the special pet of
the government was not as great as his employer expected.
Mr. Whitehead, who had been Collector of the Customs at Key West for
nearly eight years, having resigned his commission on the 30th June 1838
and taken up his residence in New York, the good people of the island were
anxious that he should go to Washington to protect their interests, and a
formal request to that effect was made, but declined. His knowledge of the
circumstances and requirements of the District rendered his services essential
however, and on the 30th December a remonstrance, prepared by him in
behalf of the merchants &c. of Key West, against the proposed Port of Entry
was presented in both House and Senate. The object being to refute argu-
ments, not to abuse individuals, the remonstrance referred to no one by name,
and in its references to the "one-man power" that suggested the measure and
would carry it out, no more was said than was actually necessary to exhibit
its anticipated effects.
On the 10th January a petition was presented by Smith in reply to this
remonstrance. What little argument it contained was easily answered, as was
very soon made manifest, and it abounded in gross personal abuse of Mr.
Whitehead. To this Mr. Whitehead submitted in reply a Memorial to both
houses, opening with this paragraph-"he would therefore respectfully
represent that the character of Thomas Jefferson Smith, being such as where
best known, does not entitle him to the notice of gentlemen, he would not
present a reply to the personal matters contained in the document referred
to [in the preamble] had it not been made public by an order of one or
both of your honorable bodies to print and have the same distributed as
other public documents usually are. That consideration induces him to pursue
the contrary course, and he would respectfully express a hope that your honor-
able bodies will cause the same publicity to be given to this memorial that was
given to the petition of Mr. Smith." Appended to this memorial were letters
from Lieut. L. M. Powell, U.S.N. stating that among the signers of the docu-
ment emanating from Indian Key asking that it might be made a Port of
Entry were all the sailors and marines attached to his vessel-from Capts.
Hunter and Coste of the Revenue service, refuting the statements made re-
specting their estimation of the advantages of the harbor-from Capt. Thos.
R. Gedney, U.S.N. acknowledging that he had made a mistake in what he
had written about the depth of water-from Col. John W. Simonton, showing
the falsity of many of Smith's statements-from F. A. Brown and 0. O'Hara
(addressed to Charles Downing the representative from Florida) giving
some sober, powerful reasons why the Port of Entry should not be estab-
lished-and an extract from South Floridian of the 10th of November which,
under the title of "Sneaking Villiany Exposed"-showed the low measures
resorted to by Smith to obtain a letter of recommendation for the Judgeship
from Key West, he having drafted the letter himself to be signed by one
Meegin, addressed to representative Downing, in which that gentleman was
told "you will get Dade County if you keep the right side of Smith, and
Housman and Baldwin" * "Marvin is not half as popular as Smith &c."
So complete was the refutation of Smith's statements, and so thoroughly was
his character exposed, that the Memorial when printed was in great demand,
so many were there of the officials and others at Washington who had suf-
fered from his abuse in the columns of his paper. For a time the question of
Port or no Port was quite a subject of discussion among the frequenters of
Smith's effrontery however, was not easily silenced. Calling upon Senator
Norvel and exhibiting the recommendations which have been before alluded
to, he succeeded in getting that gentleman to withdraw Mr. Whitehead's
Memorial, on the grounds that when he presented it, he was not aware of its
character, but having ascertained that it contained a very gross attack upon
"another gentleman of whose character he entertained a very favorable
opinion" he was unwilling that the Senate should "become the medium of
calumny upon any man." This action of the Senator, and a letter from a Key
West gentleman certifying to the low character of Meegin, (forgetting that
the more he degraded Meegin the greater his degradation from having sol-
icited his influence to obtain office) Mr. Smith incorporated in an abusive
article, occupying a column of his paper, in which Mr. Whitehead's name
appeared in capital letters, but which did not refute an iota of the charges
made against him; ending with "I shall now dismiss Whitehead, leaving him
in company with his friend Meegin."
Mr. Whitehead, however, was not so easily disposed of. He wrote to
Senator Norvel and furnished additional evidence that what he had called
"calumny" was in every particular true, requesting that the petition of Smith
which had elicited his memorial should also be withdrawn from the files of
the Senate and the accusation brought against him on its floor should be as
publicly and in the same manner withdrawn. The petition was withdrawn in
consequence but the Senator not making the amende honorable as requested,
Mr. Whitehead had his letter to him published in the National Intelligencer,
including a letter from Mr. John P. Baldwin of Key West, (the gentleman
who had testified to Meegin's low character), stating that Smith had ack-
nowledged to him that he, Smith, had written the letter for Meegin to sign,
the very "calumny" of which he had complained. Shortly after this denoue-
ment Smith suddenly left Washington and went to Indian Key and Key West,
not remaining at the latter place but a few hours as the Floridian announced
"on good authority," that he had been called on in Washington to replace a
sum of money which had been paid by mistake by one of the Departments
"which rendered him the object of too much attention on the island."
While these occurrences were transpiring at Washington, Dade County
and Indian Key were also subjects of consideration at Tallahassee. On the
25th January 1839 a petition was presented to the Legislative Council, from
the inhabitants of Monroe County and the inhabitants of Key Vacas in Dade
County, praying 1st. for a repeal of the law establishing Dade County, and
2nd if the repeal was not granted, asking for a repeal of the laws creating
a County Court and requiring terms of the Superior Court to be held at Indian
Key. The petition was accompanied by affidavits of persons who testified to
seeing men confined in the stocks in the warehouse of Mr. Housman for days
at a time by his order and fed on bread and water, without any beds, bedding,
or mosquito bars. This was referred to a Committee of which Wm. Marvin
was chairman and received due attention.
The Committee in due time reported that "It is in vain for these men
to appeal to the laws of redress. The suit must be tried in the County of Dade
and there, there is no Jury. Their only redress is in their own strong and
staunch hearts." They recommend that, inasmuch as Dade County had been
recognized by Congress, and had had assigned to it a representative in the
Council, the law establishing it should not be repealed, but, "that the Juris-
diction of the County Court of Dade County be taken away, and transferred
to the County Court of Monroe County, and the Jurisdiction of the Superior
Court of Monroe, until the number of persons in Dade shall justify the
reestablishment of the courts of that County." A bill to that effect was
reported and passed on the 19th February, and although Mr. Housman re-
monstrated against the unfavorable impression made by this action, the
Council did not reverse it. On March 16th, 1840, Congress was petitioned by
the members of the Bar, and Officers of the Supreme Court for the Southern
District, praying for the repeal of the Territorial Act of 1837, reestablishing
a term of the Superior Court in the County of Dade, and that the territorial
legislature be prohibited from reestablishing it without the sanction of Con-
gress. This the writer believes put an end to holding terms of courts at Indian
As to the Port of Entry question Mr. Smith succeeded in having his peti-
tion returned to the files of Congress in the session of 1840-41, but as the
antidote, in the shape of Mr. Whitehead's documents, were also referred, the
Committee on Commerce asked to be discharged from their further con-
sideration a week afterwards, and that is thought to have been the last of
the attempts to elevate Dade County and Indian Key in the estimation of
Congress. Smith married in Washington in 1840 and died there in 1860 or
If any of your readers, Mr. Editor, wish to have any confirmation of
these statements they are referred to the Proceedings of the Legislative
Council, Documents No. 41 of House of Representatives, 25th Congress, 3rd
session, Senate Documents 71 and 140 of the same session, and the Washing-
ton National Intelligencer of March 12th 1839.
No. 4 (April 23)
As the names of the men alluded to in Mr. Maloney's address, who
walked the streets of Key West forty and forty-five years ago, meet the
eyes of their contemporaries, numerous are the incidents, humorous or
otherwise, which come to the mind, clothing the long forgotten figures once
more with all their peculiarities. Among others thus summoned from the past,
the writer was pleased to recognize Henry S. Waterhouse M.D., Postmaster,
Weigher and Gauger and otherwise identified with the business interests of
the place who came to the island from Vermont about 1828. Brought from
his northern home by ill-health, the figure he presented when brought to
memory is in keeping with that fact. A slightly framed individual was he,
with a sallow complexion and cadaverous expression of countenance, having
a peculiar mouth considerably modified from its natural expression by a set
of false teeth, which he was wont to assure his friends were manufactured
from "a tusk of the hippopotamus or sea horse," and so we will consider
him seated on the piazza of a small wooden house near to Clinton Place,
fronting on Whitehead Street, or within his mosquito-netted door as circum-
stances required, amusing himself, and-perhaps-the neighborhood with the
so-considered melodious notes of his violin: "Robin Adair," "Old Lang
Syne," "Hail Columbia" and other airs of the period being made familiar to
all; but ready to put the instrument aside at any moment to receive a guest
and discuss the news of the last mail, with such an air of sober-mirthfulness
that was in admirable keeping with Coombe's delineation of "Dr. Syntax," and
which in connection with other peculiarities led to his being known and
spoken of by that title.
The writer will not venture any opinion as to his skill as a physician,
but he was a man of some reading, had quite a collection of books, larger
than any other on the island, and his intelligence combined with his eccentric
manners and well developed disposition to look after his own interests
made him quite a marked man in the little community.
As days and weeks would roll away at that period of the island's history
without any news or novel occurrences, the resources of the inhabitants were
often times put to the test for subjects for conversation and amusement. At
one time a bulletin board was placed on the Doctor's piazza for the reception
of items of wonderful news which the active brains of some would concoct
and privately post thereon, sometimes purposely written in such remarkable
chirography as would baffle the most skillful readers, excepting that here
and there some momentous word or particular reference would be plainly
given to arouse curiosity and lead to a more diligent study of the rest. The
Doctor was apt to consider all that appeared on the board as truth, and
would wonder at the marvelous revelations that sometimes were made; de-
ception being little anticipated and considered by no means proper even in
joke. This trait reminds the writer that, on a certain first of April, the
Doctor received a note in the heat of the day purporting to come from
Judge Webb, who then had rooms in the old Court-house, asking him to
come to him and to bring his "pullakins" along, (a common term for forceps).
The Doctor had never heard the dentist's instrument so called, and putting
on his hat walked over to the Custom House to have the purport of the note
explained and immediately started off with forceps in hand to relieve the
Judge of his presumed aching tooth. The walk up Whitehead Street in the
hot sun was not very pleasant and some comparison could not but be forced
upon the Doctor's notice, between his own heated perspiring body and the
coolness and composure of the Judge, who, seated in his airy apartment,
received him with all courtesy and commenced talking about matters and
things in general. Availing himself of the first lull in the conversation, the
Doctor enquired how long the Judge's tooth had troubled him, and was
astonished to learn that he was not, and had not been a sufferer. "What is
the meaning of this note then, Judge?" he asked, exhibiting the one he had
received; and it would be difficult to portray the expression of his face when
the Judge replied, "It means, Doctor, that this is the first of April." No
answer was returned and the Doctor wended his way back to town vowing that
he would be careful how he responded to sudden calls again no matter who
might be the party requiring his services.
The Doctor felt considerably proud of being the first postmaster and
was very attentive to the duties of his office. Two years elapsed before the
office was thought of sufficient importance to have regular stamps, but when
obtained the Doctor was as much pleased as a child with a new play thing,
and wished his friends, no matter whether their letters went by mail or not,
to have all their letters stamped. The writer has now in his possession one
stamped not only with the date but also with the words "Ship," "Paid" and
"Free" constituting his whole assortment.
The Doctor possessed some power at repartee, one instance of which is
well remembered. In those days there were few entertainments given other
than dinners or suppers, at which it was usual for each guest to add to the
hilarity of the occasion by either singing a song or telling a story. On one
occasion the Doctor had been repeatedly called upon and as often declined,
and just as he was comforting himself with the thought that the attention of
the company had been effectually drawn into another channel, the young
District Attorney Chandler returned to the charge with a demand for "that
story" and the Doctor succumbed.
In his peculiar manner emphasizing each point by a ridiculous movement
of his right fore-finger from the end of his nose to the table before him he
told of a thief who had secreted himself in a church with a view to appro-
priate some of the valuables within it, and after securing them found that
his only mode of egress was by an open upper window to reach which he
must climb up by the bell rope, and on attempting to do so, the bell tolled,
arousing the neighborhood and leading to his arrest.
"As they were leading him away," said the Doctor, taking his finger from
his nose and pointing it at the District Attorney, "he turned around and
addressed the bell, as I now do you Mr. Chandler, if it had not been for
your long tongue and empty head, I would have escaped." The company
who had been wondering at the prosaic character of the story and at a loss
to discover wherein its interest lay, were taken entirely by surprise at its
close, and its point fairly "brought down the house."
Finding that the climate agreed with him the Doctor sent to Vermont
for his wife and one child, a small boy, but the voyage so disordered the
system of Mrs. Waterhouse that she died not long after arrival. Subsequently
the Doctor, anticipating a more extensive practice and new openings for
business at Indian Key, removed thither taking his boy with him, and both
were accidentally drowned while on a fishing excursion some time in 1835.
No. 5 (no date)
INCIDENTS OF THE SEMINOLE WAR
The small detachment of United States troops under Major Dade, which
had been stationed at Key West for some time, left towards the close of 1835
for Tampa Bay, and not long after their departure, the startling intelligence
was received that with the exception of three, all had fallen in an attack
made upon them by the savage foe, on the 28th of December, on their way
into the interior. It consisted of eight officers and one hundred and two
men. The three men who escaped, although wounded, brought the painful
tidings to Tampa, and fifty-three days after the conflict, a detachment of the
army found the remains of the killed on the field undisturbed. The eight
officers were recognized, and all were buried where they fell.
It is scarcely necessary to say that the island was thrown into a state of
great agitation and alarm by this untoward event, brought home to all more
closely from the fact that both officers and men had been long enough at
Key West to become generally known personally. In accordance with a
public notice a general gathering of the townspeople was held in the neigh-
borhood of Clinton place-a motley assemblage reminding one of Falstaff's
army-the news that had been received was read, committees appointed,
and some measures adopted for the common defence. Additional anxiety was
felt from the fact that a family at Indian River had been murdered, (the
fact not being then known that it was owing to personal differences), and
the Lighthouse and public property at Cape Florida abandoned in conse-
quence. One of the measures adopted for the protection of Key West was
the establishment of a night patrol on land, expected to challenge every
night-walker, whether friend or foe; and for a time a water patrol likewise,
that in one or more boats was expected to circumnavigate the island every
night. A realization of the danger that would undoubtedly be incurred by
thus watching for a foe that, if in the vicinity would be hidden in the
neighboring keys, and possess a decided advantage over the exposed crews,
soon led to the abandonment of this precautionary measure.
Well founded fears prevailed that, as the United States forces at Fort
King and elsewhere towards the north, were deemed adequate to control the
movements of the Indians in that direction, their course would necessarily
be directed to the southern shores of the peninsula, and very soon, with the
exception of Indian Key, every settlement between Key West and St. Augus-
tine was abandoned.
The Collector of the Port in letters to the War and Navy Departments,
drew attention to the urgent necessity of a co-operation of army and navy
forces in protecting the lives and property of the inhabitants, particularly of
Key West, which had become a place of refuge for all the fugitives. These
letters were responded to under the date of the 29th of January, orders
being issued by the War Department for the reoccupation of the port, and
the transmission in advance of arms and ammunition of which the island
was woefully deficient. A letter to Commodore Dallas at Havana, with whom
the Collector was personally acquainted, caused him to sail immediately in
his Flagship, the Frigate Constellation, and on the 14th of January he was
at anchor in the harbor, materially relieving the inhabitants from their
In a few days a detachment of sailors and marines was sent from the
Constellation to re-establish the light at Cape Florida and to render the
buildings so secure as to place the keeper in comparative safety. Com-
modore Dallas remained in the harbor until the 6th of February, when he
sailed for Pensacola, receiving before his departure a letter from a com-
mittee of the citizens at large, thanking him for his promptness in coming
to their assistance, which he most cordially acknowledged.
It is an interesting fact connected with this visit of the Constellation
that Lieutenant George G. Meade, who was a brother-in-law of Commodore
Dallas, was on board, having not long before graduated at West Point, on
his way to join the army at Tampa-little dreaming of the future before
him and the events that would connect his name so honorably with the war
with Mexico, and make it live in history as the General Commander at
On the arrival of Commodore Dallas at Pensacola, he dispatched the
Warren, Captain Wi. F. Taylor, and subsequently the Concord, Captain
Mix, to watch over the safety of the island; and on the 12th of April General
Macomb, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, paid it a visit on board a
Revenue Cutter, was escorted over the island and made acquainted with its
position and necessities, and left the next day for Tampa.
Intelligence however had been received of the withdrawal of the Indians
from the southern shores of the peninsula, and confidence was for some time
(No date or title)
During the great anxiety which prevailed in the winter of 1835-6, under
apprehensions of an attack from the Indians, incidents would occasionally
occur which, however serious they seemed at the time, would subsequently,
when recalled to mind, afford much amusement. One of these is thus described
by a then resident on the island, in a letter which has been preserved.
"About 2 a.m. I was aroused from a sound sleep by a call from 'the
officer of the day at night' as he styled himself, who stated that two or three
of the patrol had 'heard in the woods the low-distinct-sound-of-a-drum,' and
he consequently thought it his duty to call the gentlemen to headquarters,
instead of ascertaining the cause of the alarm himself. However, some
allowance should be made for his action, or rather want of action, as it was
evident he had taken some quantity of spirits down in order to keep his spirits
up. 'Very like a whale,' I thought, but like a good militia man I 'buckled on
my armor,' took my guns and pistols, kissed my wife, and went forth to
combat in all haste."
The writer's experience having been similar, he will complete the
account by saying that the improbability of the Indians giving notice of their
approach by beating a drum, however "low" the sound produced, was not
admitted to be a valid objection to proceeding to solve the mystery. Three or
four gentlemen, consequently, started off to the United States Barracks to
see whether the only drum that was known to be on the island was in its
place. Such was found to be the case, but nevertheless the sound heard might
have been some signal agreed upon between the Indians and Negroes, and
it was therefore advisable that some of the houses of the latter should be
visited. The improbability of any co-operation of the Negroes with the enemy
was not allowed to have any weight, but the idea was pretty effectually
eradicated when their fright was witnessed at being thus aroused from
their slumbers by a number of armed men. It was while standing on the
premises of Mr. Weaver, whose Negroes were being thus unnecessarily
alarmed, that the mysterious "low-distant-sound-of-a-drum" was found to
proceed from a dog basking in the moonlight on the top of a cistern, for
annoyed by fleas, he would announce it to the world by bringing his knuckles
(if hind legs have knuckles) in contact with the cover of the cistern when-
ever he attempted to get rid of them. The "officer of the day at night" felt
much aggrieved at having his attention drawn to the solution of the mys-
terious sounds he had heard, but no other was discovered. The gentlemen
on returning to their homes found their families in great anxiety at their
prolonged absence, and one found his wife preparing to take a boat with
her children and baggage.
This night patrol continued until the summer rains set in, when it was
found much more comfortable to drowse away the hours under cover than in
perambulating the streets, and the conclusion was arrived at that there was
no impending danger requiring its continuance.
The summer of 1836 passed without any occurrence worthy of special
notice, but in September the lighthouse at Cape Florida was attacked by the
Indians and destroyed by fire. John Dubose, the keeper, was not at his post
at the time, and the man in charge who had sought safety within the light-
house and barricaded the entrance would undoubtedly have been burnt to
death, when the enemy resorted to firing the stair case, had he not had with
him a keg of powder. This he threw into the fire and the consequent explosion
arrested the progress of the flames by destroying the steps, leaving him in
safety at the top of the lighthouse, out of the reach of the enemy. How long
it was before he was rescued the writer does not remember.
This renewal of active aggressive movements may have been prompted
by the withdrawal from Key West of a company of the 4th Infantry, under
Lieut. Alvord, sent to join the army at Tampa, and also the withdrawal from
Indian Key, much to the chagrin of the inhabitants, of the Revenue Cutter
Dexter, Capt. Rudolph, which had been stationed there for two or three
Not long before the burning of the lighthouse at Cape Florida an attack
was made upon a small turtling vessel at anchor at Key Largo by about
thirty of the enemy, two of the crew wounded and, on the abandonment of
the vessel she was set fire to by the Indians.
In the ensuing month, October, in consequence of these and other
depredations, the Sloop-of-War Vandalia sent an expedition up the coast,
destroyed an encampment of Indians on one of the islands, burned their boats,
but did not capture any. So near were they, however, to the enemy that
some of them were recognized as those who had had frequent intercourse
with the whites before the war, and were considered peacefully inclined.
There was no doubt entertained that this party had been engaged in commit-
ting many outrages along the coast, whither they were drawn by the advan-
tages afforded them in the way of living, by the native arrow-root and the
abundance of fish. On the 23rd of November Commodore Dallas returned to
the island in a Sloop-of-War, accompanied by a schooner, and was on shore
several days with his family-guests of the Collector.
No. 7 (May 16?)
THE DESTRUCTION OF INDIAN KEY
The event which caused the greatest excitement along the reef, during
the war with the Seminoles was the destruction of Indian Key. The attack
was made about half past two o'clock on the morning of Friday, August 7th,
1840, and the writer is pleased to be able to put in print a letter in his
possession written by that worthy and highly respected citizen, Charles Howe,
who was Collector of Key West from May 1861 to July 1869. He was at
that time Inspector of the Customs at Indian Key. Shortly after the affair he
wrote as follows to a friend in New York.
"We were awakened by the awful yells of the savages and the
discharge of rifles all over the island, and the breaking of doors and
windows. I endeavored for a moment to imagine it was a dream, but
it was only for a moment-the danger was too near at hand to admit
a doubt of its reality-too startling and appalling to be an illusion of
the fancy. The flashes of the rifles, visible through our bedroom windows
admonished us of our perilous situation. We sprang from our bed and
aroused our two youngest children,, the other three, who had been
sleeping in a corner room, came running to our door enquiring what
they should do. I could only say to them that the Indians had come to
murder us and that they must prepare to die, as we had but a few
minutes to live and that they must think of that Saviour who stood
ready to receive them. We, of course, supposed that the Indians had
already surrounded our house, and for the moment were fully per-
suaded of the certainty of immediate death if we attempted to open
either of our doors, but Special Providence seems to have inspired and
directed us from the hands of the monsters.
Mrs. H. with much self-possession and daring bravery, with one
child in her arms, was the first to proceed to our back door and open
it, and finding the enemy not there, I immediately followed with the
other children, and we all ran into our garden among the mulberry
trees. From thence we crept round to our back fence, and watching for
a moment when there was none near by, I jumped over and pulled off a
few palings, and taking one child, Mrs. H. the other, the three elder
ones following, we ran for the water and reached it without being
discovered. We then waded about 200 yards to one of the sailboats. As
we were getting on board they saw us, and came running to the beach
and on my wharf, and fired a few shots but without effect. I was soon
under sail and out of the reach of rifle balls.
With deep felt thanksgiving, I looked around me and saw my wife
and children all safe, although in a deplorable condition-nothing on
but our night clothes-the children nearly naked-without water or
provisions, and naturally expecting that everything we possessed in the
world would be destroyed or taken from us: but still, even in this con-
dition we felt grateful that we had so wonderfully escaped the barbarous
hand of these infuriated savages.
We proceeded to the Transport schooner Medium lying in the
harbor of Tea-Table Key. We of course knew nothing of the fate of the
other inhabitants, but naturally conjectured they were all massacred;
but it fortunately proved to be otherwise, and out of about 60 in all,
only six were killed and one wounded. Some others were badly burnt
and otherwise injured.
The Indians remained on the island until 12 o'clock M. and after
completing the work of destruction, by burning every building except
my old house, they left it with 34 boats and canoes heavily laden
I came back to the island in about half an hour after they left. It
was a horrible sight! Poor John Mott, his wife and two children lay
lifeless upon the common, most shockingly mangled. Dr. Perrine con-
sumed in my new house-James Sturdy, a lad 12 years of age, brother
to Mrs. Elliott Smith, drowned in the cistern of a large warehouse. My
house and kitchen, negro houses and carpenter's shop were not set on
fire, but plundered of everything of any value to them, such as clothing,
bedding, provisions, silver, jewelry, spy-glasses, cooking utensils, sails,
awnings, water-kegs, tools, boats, &c.
You can form some idea from this of what our situation was. But
that same compassionate Providence which had already so marvelously
interposed in our behalf did not leave us long to suffer for those com-
forts which our situation so much required. Some of my negroes, of
whose fate I was ignorant, made their escape with some of Capt.
Housman's in a boat to Key West. Immediately on the news reaching
there, friends Gordon and Mallory and their amiable wives, whose
benevolence and kindness I never can forget, sent us a large trunk full
of all kinds of clothing suitable for myself and family, more than I was
willing to take for our own immediate wants, and I distributed a part
among the other sufferers. Until the arrival of this trunk, which was four
or five days, I had only the bare shirt I escaped in, and an old pair of
pantaloons. We fortunately found one window curtain which fell outside
of the window as the Indians took it down and was left, that Mrs. H. cut
into slips for the younger children. They carried off three of my negroes,
one of whom was an invaluable woman, whose loss we much lament.
The remains of another, a girl, have since been found in the Bay.
My new house, which was occupied by Dr. Perrine, was the first
building burnt. The Dr. was in the cupola, endeavoring to parley with
the savages, by telling them, in Spanish, that he was a physician, and
that they must spare him, but they turned a deaf ear to his entreaties,
and set fire to the garret rooms to prevent his escape. The family was
properly restricted to the canal, connected with the bathing room,
(which I had constructed expressly to escape with my own family),
soon after the commencement of the war. There they remained until
the house burned down and were all saved. * * With all my losses
and sufferings I have much cause to be thankful. They could have
injured me much more. My books, papers, glass-ware, crockery &c.
were all saved. Our clock, looking-glasses, and sideboard were not dis-
turbed, only divested of their gauze covering which appeared to have
been done with great care." [Mr. Howe makes no allusion to the grounds
for this exemption from the entire destruction with which the property
of others was visited, but those who knew the man will see in it, in all
probability, the result of the kindness and uprightness which had always
characterized his dealings with the natives.] "I can truly say that the
horrors of that memorable morning will never be erased from my mind,
and I doubt if from the memory of our youngest child." *
This letter was written on the 15th of October 1840, when there was a
small military force stationed at Indian Key, sufficient it was thought to ward
off any further attacks.
No. 8 (May 23?)
AFFAIRS OF HONOR(?)
Half a century ago it was much more the custom than in late years to
seek redress for wrongs, fancied or real, by giving your adversary an oppor-
tunity to take your life, by placing yourself before him to be shot at. There
was always a lurking hope, it is true, that through superior skill or adroit-
ness you might hit him first, but should you not, you were only illustrating
the folly of "fleeing from the ills we have, to those we know not of." Among
these so-called "Affairs of Honor" which interested the inhabitants of Key
West at that time was one, the incidents of which might be wrought into a
sensational novel with great effect.
Among the young adventurers from the United States who in 1818-9
were led to connect themselves with the revolutionary movements in Colom-
bia, South America, were Charles E. Hawkins and Wm. A. McRea. What part
they bore in the struggles of the young Republic, or how long they were
residents of it, the writer is uninformed, but, while still in its service, some
difficulty arose between them, leading to a contest with swords; and Hawkins
carried to his grave a notable scar across one of his cheeks, the result of the
encounter. Years passed away. McRea returned to the United States and com-
menced the practice of the Law; Hawkins entered the Mexican Navy and
they met not again until the autumn of 1828 at Key West. Hawkins was
awaiting the action of the Superior Court of the Southern District of Florida
upon some prize cases in which he was interested, and McRea as United
States District Attorney, was in his official capacity necessarily connected
with the trial and adjudication. Thus were the two quondam enemies brought
again in opposition to each other.
It was of course thought advisable that past differences should no longer
be allowed to effect the relations of the parties, and through the mediation of
mutual friends a reconciliation was effected. Not only so, but the event was
thought worthy of some fitting commendation and in due time a supper was
given by Captain Hawkins at Mrs. Mallory's Hotel, at which McRea was the
honored guest, and all the gentry on the island were present. The greatest
hilarity and good feeling prevailed and the guests separated full of encomiums
upon both the host and his entertainment.
Captain Hawkins had been twice married, and had his second wife with
him on the island. She was a young thoughtless girl who had seen very little
of the world, possessing some literary attainments and personal attractions.
It was observed with great surprise by the few who witnessed it, that on the
morning after the supper she was taken privately and evidently in great
distress and put on board of a vessel about to sail for middle Florida. A few
hours elapsed and the mystery received an explanation, which greatly excited
the little community. Hawkins as host the evening before was necessarily
detained until all his guests had departed, and on reaching his house at a
late hour, his surprise may be imagined on seeing a man leap from the win-
dow of his wife's room as he entered it, and to find that that man was McRea,
his newly re-acquired friend. All he could do was to salute him with a dis-
charge from his pistol, but without inflicting any personal injury.
Having sent off his wife to her friends, Hawkins' next step to retrieve
his honor was to give McRea an opportunity to deprive him of his life also.
A challenge was sent and accepted, and on the morning of Monday, February
9th, 1829, the parties met somewhere on the south beach. Captain C. C. Hopner
of the Mexican Service acted as friend to Hawkins, and Dr. R. A. Lacy as
the friend of McRea. Four shots were exchanged. Hawkins' first ball passed
through McRea's overcoat and glanced,-his second went through his pan-
taloons, near the waistband, bruising his body-the third passed through his
hat, and the fourth lodged in his thigh near the body and terminated the con-
test. Only one short of McRea's touched his adversary, the third, which slightly
grazed Hawkins' wrist.
McRea was moving about again on crutches in the course of a few weeks,
but before he made his appearance in public, Hawkins had left the island for
Mexico to close up his relations with that republic, and did not return until
some time in May, by which time McRea was again in full use of his limb,
and in the enjoyment of perfect health. But on Sunday morning, May 24th,
as he was walking up Whitehead Street, and had nearly reached the small
bridge that there crossed the head of the old Pond, as it passed Caroline
Street, he received in his back from a double-barreled gun in the hands of
Hawkins, who was secreted in a house on the South side of Whitehead Street,
no less than thirty-three shot, and in two hours was a corpse.
In an obituary of him, written at the time by a friend and apologist, it
said, "It had been intimated to him that he would be attacked, but believing
he was contending with an enemy too honorable and brave to avail himself
of an assassin's cover, he refused (though urged) to resort to legal means to
prevent it; always supposing that he would be able to resist any open assault
which he might receive. Thus has he fallen-a sacrifice to his own honorable
feelings, and the dastardly act of a coward; but he still lives in the memory of
his friends, and in the good feelings of the community."
"That Mr. McRea had faults is admitted. Who has them not? But his
faults were of that kind which friendship would only desire to obscure from
the public gaze; they were those alone which sprung from a disposition too
ardent and feelings too easily excited, and soon forced aside by such a host
of redeeming qualities that all those who best knew him, were always willing
to pardon the one in consideration of the strong claims which the others gave
to their kindest affections."
He was buried on May 25th and on the 3rd of June his murderer was
taken on board of a Revenue Cutter to St. Augustine, there to be incarcerated
to abide his trial in November.
Hawkins' second wife, she on whose account the murder was committed,
having been divorced from him not long after, he was enabled, while occupy-
ing his snug quarters at St. Augustine not only to make the acquaintance,
but to woo and win a young lady, a resident of that antiquated city, and
to make her the third Mrs. Hawkins. They were married in the prison, and
their wedding tour may be presumed to have been limited to a walk in the
corridors, or from one to another room of their enforced quarters.
Several months elapsed before Hawkins was transferred to Key West for
trial, but when the time arrived, his wife remained behind in St. Augustine.
The writer will not attempt to portray the bitterness of the parting. It must
be left to be connected by these readers. He who was so attractive that even his
prison walls could not prevent his influence being felt beyond them, about
to be taken from her side, who had submitted even to imprisonment for his
sake, and sent to a distant court to be tried for his life was sad indeed! It was
a very romantic situation to be placed in certainly. Should he be hung it
would, without doubt, be very painful to witness it, and should the Jury-the
finding of a Florida jury being, in the opinion of a certain old Judge, one
of the things the Almighty might be naturally expected to know nothing
about in advance-should the jury acquit him, she could at once reform him.
She had better therefore remain in St. Augustine.
Arrived at Key West, what was to be done with the culprit? There was
no prison worthy of his acceptance as a place of residence, and as to finding
a qualified and unbiased Jury, that was therefore an impossibility. Under
some arrangement therefore, with the details of which the writer is unac-
quainted, the whole island was allowed to his bounds. In February 1831 his
wife arrived to share his imprisonment, and, supported by the United States,
he was as much a gentleman of leisure as any one on the island. Mrs. H. was
-or thought herself to be-proficient in music, and day and night her
piano might be heard discoursing the most elaborate unintelligible composi-
tions to comfort and amuse her "dear Charles."
At last the legislature intervened. An act was passed, the tenor of which
is not recollected, by which Hawkins was discharged from further account-
ability for the murder of McRea, and left the island with his wife for parts
unknown to the writer.
I gave in my last communication an imperfect account of the romance
which surrounded a so-called "Affair of Honor" and its subsequent effects.
There was another that came off in 1833 less objectionable in its features,
as it did not grow out of anything affecting the moral antecedent of the
combatants. It involved, however, the death of one of them, and that one
the party least to blame.
David C. Pinkham of Kentucky, but last from Pensacola, a lawyer of
considerable ability was one of those who came to the island on the estab-
lishment of the Superior Court in 1828, bringing his wife with him. He
was between thirty-five and forty years of age, and soon after his arrival
associated himself in business with a Mr. Macon. On the accession of Mr.
Whitehead to the Collectorship of the District in 1830, Mr. Pinkham was so
strongly recommended for the position of Deputy that he was appointed, and
for nearly two years satisfactorily discharged the duties of the office, being
gentlemanly in his deportment and attention to all having business at the
Mr. Pinkham it was who sent the challenge in the case referred to, his
opponent being Dr. Benjamin B. Strobel of Charleston, who became a resi-
dent of the island some time after Mr. Pinkham's settlement. He stood well
in his profession and was appointed Surgeon to the Military post. As might
be expected where the practice in a community of only five or six hundred
people was divided among two or three physicians, there was plenty of leisure
to loiter away in the counting-rooms and other places of concourse, if inclina-
tion prompted, enabling anyone to become familiar, if not identified with,
all matters of public or private disputation. This was the disposition of Dr.
During the summer of 1832, the Collector being absent, the duties of his
office devolved upon Mr. Pinkham, and a number of wrecks being brought in
loaded with foreign merchandize entailing processes with which he was not
familiar, it was not surprising that matters should not have gone on as
smoothly as they would have done under other conditions. On the return of
the Collector in the autumn he received a communication from one or two
merchants, two subordinate officers of the customs, and Dr. Strobel, complain-
ing of the manner in which they had been treated by Mr. Pinkham, and
asking for his dismissal, principally on the ground of his unpopularity. But
as their special grievances did not warrant it, and "popularity" in those days
not always being in accordance with the more essential qualification, fidelity
to the government, he was not dismissed. Dr. Strobel's special grievance was
that the Deputy-Collector had struck from the Marine Hospital roll the name
of a man whom having been seen walking about the town, he thought well
enough to be discharged, without first consulting him, Dr. Strobel being at
that time in charge of the Hospital patients.
Although no evil resulted and the man restored to his position on explana-
tion, yet the abuse and irritating conduct of the Doctor-whose complaints
were least in consequence if at all-did not cease, and at last so wrought
upon Pinkham that nothing would do but he must seek redress by standing
up to be shot at, for having had nothing to do with firearms it amounted to
A challenge was sent to Strobel and accepted, and towards the end of
March 1833 a duel was fought on the south beach, and Pinkham fell at the
first fire with a bullet in his chest. Strobel's friend was the Captain of the
Revenue Cutter that cruized between Charleston and Key West, and as his
vessel was about to sail for the former place, Strobel found it convenient to
embark in her and, if the writer mistakes not, never returned; his family
leaving the island to join him shortly afterwards.
Pinkham lingered until the 11th of April,-some hopes being entertained
at one time that he would recover-when he died, his honor satisfied and his
wife left defenceless among strangers. He was buried in the burial-ground
then used, and a marble slab subsequently placed over his grave, and his
wife was sent to her friends in Kentucky. Thus were two homes broken up
through the irritations caused by senseless disputations. "The tongue is an
unruly member full of deadly poison."
There was an earlier challenge passed, some time during the winter of
1828-9-the moving cause is not remembered-between Richard Fitzpatrick
whose name appears several times in Mr. Maloney's Address, and Edward
Chandler, a young lawyer residing on the island, but although the writer
remembers seeing and speaking to the former gentleman, while he was en-
gaged in getting his duelling pistols ready, better councils prevailed, and
the meeting did not take place.
The name of Mr. Fitzpatrick recalls the very questionable proceeding
of the importation of bloodhounds from Cuba, wherewith to hunt down the
Indians during the Seminole War. Mr. F. was the Agent sent by the Territory
to procure them. He sailed from St. Marks on the 27th of November 1839,
reached Matanzas on the 6th of December and sailed thence about the 13th,
stopping at Key West on his homeward trip with thirty-three dogs in charge.
A very telling caricature was got up in New York representing the Agent
engaged in drilling his squad of ravenous animals, the picture being too
revolting for its subject to be at all ludicrous.
This important re-inforcement for the Territory sailed from Key West
on the 24th of December and, after a tempestuous voyage, arrived at St. Marks
on the 7th of January 1840, and a few days thereafter reached Tallahassee
and was duly inspected by his Excellency Governor Reed, who, in a message
to the legislature on the 28th of February, reported, "No occasion has yet
occurred for testing the usefulness of the dogs brought from Cuba. It is still
believed, however, that they may be used with effect." It is believed now,
however, that that was the last heard of them officially.
Would you like to know, Mr. Editor, what was the expense incurred for
this importation? I can give it to you.
Cost of the 33 Blood-hounds in Cuba ________________$2733.00
Expenses at Matanzas and Key West &c. _____________ 303.99
Charter of Sloop Marshall to Matanzas and back _______ 600.00
Advanced to the 5 Spaniards who came with the dogs ____ 136.63
Passports for them _____________------_____________ 26.96
87 lbs. fresh beef for the dogs bought in Tallahassee ____ 6.96
"My compensation" said Mr. Fitzpatrick _____________ 1000.00
Besides which there was spent on and for the 5 Spaniards "employed a
trainers and keepers" the further sum of --_--- ___----- 136.65
Making in all $5137.48
The settlement of Key West afforded facilities for the explorations of
the islands of the reef and the southern shores of the Peninsula, which had
not been enjoyed before, and naturalists and others, having no money-making
projects in hand, but attracted by the discoveries they hoped to make in the
various departments of natural science, were not slow in profiting by them.
Among these is remembered John Jay Browne, who had devoted several years
of his life to the study and investigation of agriculture, natural history, and
the resources both of his own and other countries, and who came in 1833
bearing letters of introduction that insured him every attention. He was
recommended also by his first work, then just published, entitled "Sylva
Americana-a Description of the Forest trees indigenous to the United States."
How long Mr. Browne remained upon the island is not recollected. Subse-
quently he served ten years as a civil engineer on public works of the United
States and of Prussia, and afterwards had charge of the Agricultural Depart-
ment of the U. S. Patent Office. Mr. Browne made a very favorable impression
upon the good people of the island whose acquaintance he made.
In 1832 John James Audubon was on the island for some time, coming
here from Cuba. He requires no introduction, being world-renowned as an
Ornithologist. He had commenced the publication in England some seven or
eight years previously of his great work in seven massive folio volumes,
which was not completed for some years thereafter. There were one hundred
and seventy-five subscribers for it, on both sides of the Atlantic, at $1000 each.
Audubon was quite pleased with the natural productions of the island,
particularly so from his having discovered in this vicinity five new varieties
of birds; but was not so well pleased with the character and pursuits of the
wrecking portion of the population. Nor were they so well pleased with him
when they found that, subsequently, he went out of his way somewhat to
proclaim them "as being engaged in enterprises which they were not anxious
to publish either to the government or the world" and it was unhesitatingly
whispered that, were a man placed in a tempest-tossed vessel on the Florida
reef there would be little doubt of his thinking a Wrecker of more intrinsic
value than all the Ornithologists in Christendom. Audubon was more than
fifty years old when he visited Key West, but was energetic and active. He
died in 1851.
In January 1833 a well informed young German by the name of Leitner
came to the island. He had been educated at one of the first scholastic institu-
tions of his native land and, although he had been in the country only about
one year, spoke English perfectly. Why he should so soon have sought the
shores of Florida is not known. His principal pursuits were connected with
botany, and he possessed a remarkable talent for preserving plants, their
beauty and natural appearance suffering little by the process. He was very
enthusiastic and pleased at the idea of being the first botanist to visit this
When walking with him, no matter how earnestly engaged in conversa-
tion or interested in topics under discussion, his eye was ever quick to per-
ceive every common flower or blade of grass that might enrich his collection,
and at once would he bolt away to secure it.
From Key West Mr. Leitner went up the reef, and for several years
remained exploring the islands and mainland. So rich and varied were his
acquisitions that even the Indian war could not drive him away and with a
view, doubtless, to extending his area of research, in January 1838 he joined
an expedition against the Indians under Lieutenant Towell and was killed at
Jupiter Inlet. What became of his manuscripts and specimens the writer never
In one of these communications mention was made of Dr. Henry Perrine,
and of his melancholy end, having been burnt to death by the Indians in his
house at Indian Key in August 7th 1840.
Dr. Perrine first became known to the people of Key West in 1835. In
May of that year, when holding the position of Consul at Campeche, he
shipped to the Collector of the Port, directly from Campeche, a pair of
rabbits of peculiar breed, a number of hives of, or rather hollow logs con-
taining stingless bees, and some cactus plants, it being his intention, on return
to the United States, to engage in the cultivation and propagation of tropical
plants and animals. He was unfortunate with his first experiment; one of
the rabbits died on the voyage and the other fell a victim to an ill-judged
attempt to obtain its liberty soon after its arrival. Many of the bees had died
or got out of the logs before they reached Key West, but there were a sufficient
number left to enable their peculiar characteristics to be tested. That they
were stingless was fully demonstrated, but the quality of the honey-prob.
ably from the scarcity of flowers and plants that would have afforded them
suitable food-was very poor. For the same reason they did not increase in
numbers, although taken great care of on the Custom-house premises, and
after two or three years they were all dead. The cactus plants were distributed
among those gentlemen who had gardens, but it was thought that the island
already possessed the species.
Dr. Perrine very properly conceived that success in his plans to intro-
duce many of the plants peculiar to the Isthmus of Darien and of Mexico
depended greatly upon their becoming acclimated, as it were, by a gradual
transfer from the warmer to the cooler regions, and it was the establishment
at Key West, or on some other island, of what might be termed an acclimating
nursery that led him to entertain the thought of becoming a resident. It was
his original intention to bring with him some of the native Indians of Mexico,
but he was advised, before doing so, to obtain some expression of opinion
from the Legislature of the Territory, by law or otherwise; as the operation
of some recent laws against all who did not bear indubitable evidence of
having nothing but white blood in their veins, rendered it uncertain what
the treatment of the native Indians might be;-and moreover legislation in
those days was of a very dubious quality, being "unstable as water."
After some examination of localities Dr. Perrine went to Washington
with the view of obtaining some governmental privileges in consequence of
his projected improvements on the public lands, with what success the writer
cannot state. He soon identified himself with Indian Key interests, and being
in Washington 1837, used what influence he had in trying to have it made
a Port of Entry-which project as we know, failed to meet the approval of
Dr. Perrine returned to Indian Key in 1839, bringing his family with him
and lost his life, as we have seen, on the 7th of August 1840. His family
returned to the North and not until the last year was any member of it in
Florida. The writer is informed that some months ago a son of his visited this
part of the State looking after some grant of land which his father had
secured during his life time.
No. 11 (June 16, 1877)
CHARLOTTE HARBOR FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AGO
Reference is made in Mr. Maloney's Address (page 5) to an old resident
at Charlotte's Harbor, alluded to by Mr. Whitehead, the Collector of the Cus-
toms, in the papers deposited by him for preservation in the Clerk's Office.
I am enabled to give some extracts from a journal kept by that gentleman
during the trip which enabled him to make the acquaintance of this old
settler, which furnishes some information respecting the condition of the
settlements at Charlotte's Harbor at that time, now nearly half a century
ago, which may prove interesting to some of the present day.
A few words of explanation may be serviceable. In the winter of 1831-2
an act passed the Territorial Legislative Council, imposing a heavy tax upon
the foreigners engaged in fishing at Charlotte's Harbor-why the harbor was
so named the writer does not know. By whom this act was drawn and in-
troduced is not remembered, but the ultimate object of it was undoubtedly,
to drive the Spaniards from that locality, and it is presumed that some smart
individual thought "it would pay" to dispossess the old settlers and fall heir
to their business. For some years about twenty vessels (fishing smacks) owned
in Connecticut had been employed in this vicinity, principally during the
autumn and winter, fishing for the Havana market, taking home with them
annually, as a result of their sales, about twenty-five thousand dollars. They
carried the live fish only to market, the Spaniards carried only salted fish and
were located in a different quarter, consequently the interests of the two bodies
of men did not come in collision at all.
Mr. Whitehead's Journal reads as follows:
"November 22nd 1831. Left Key West in the Revenue Cutter Marion
on a cruize, intending to visit the Spanish fisheries on the western
shore of the Peninsula, for the purpose of reporting to the Government
the condition of the people residing there, and the propriety of allow-
ing them to continue their business. * 24th. The lookout at the mast-
head discovered the land and the entrance to the harbor about 10 A.M.,
but the wind was light, and what little there was being ahead, we were
obliged to drop our anchor for the night.
"25th. Until 12 o'clock the Lieutenants were busily engaged in
sounding the bar, and having ascertained the deepest water we entered
the harbor and anchored a mile or two within. In the afternoon the
Capt. and myself took a boat and pulled for one of the fisheries about
seven miles distant. On landing we were received with a grand chorus
from five dogs, which we interpreted as a welcome, for they immediately
left us to enjoy the comforts of the place by ourselves. Not a living soul
was to be seen (save the dogs-and it is doubted that they had souls)
but the absence of canoes and nets accounted also for the absence of
inhabitants. Their dwellings were all of palmetto and most of them of
tolerable size-about fifteen feet square. They reminded me of Ichobod
Crane's Schoolhouse, to enter which every facility was afforded, but
which it was impossible to get out of. Such being the nature of the
fastnings of their doors I took the liberty of "prying" into one of them.
A few stakes driven into the ground with cross pieces for their bars-
a small loft for corn-a hanging shelf with one or two pieces of
crockery, and two or three stools, composed the furniture, and no house
that I saw, at any of the other of the Fisheries, contained more, while
many of them had less.
"Perambulating about the houses we came to one where there was
a figure of an angel which might have been only the figure head of
some vessel-but knowing the religion of the people and giving them
the credit of attending to some of the rites it enjoins, we could no less
than suppose it was here they performed their orisons. We learned
afterward that there were nearly thirty men, half Spaniards and half
Indian, who congregated here; how many women we did not ascertain.
Leaving our cards at the door of the chief fisherman we returned to
"While riding at anchor in the bay, which is a very extensive one,
extending far into the land towards the east, while an extensive sound,
filled with many islands connects it with Carlos Harbor towards the
south, no signs of civilization near, I could not but be struck with the
aspect of repose worn by every thing, as if nature's domain had never
before been invaded in that quarter. * At five the next morning 1
started in one of the boats with the Second Lieutenant and four men
on a cruise to the southward. We arrived at the first Fishery in time
to procure breakfast. This was the establishment of Caldez, the patriarch
of the whole, consisting of fifteen dwellings and one or two storehouses,
with a population of somewhat more than twenty men. The number of
females or squaws (and they were all of the Indian race at all the set-
tlements) we could not learn, but we supposed there were some six or
eight, and many children of both sexes in "the dress that Nature gave
them" were running about, the color of their skins betraying the mixed
blood of the Spaniard and the Indian.
"To the old man Caldez-who was about seventy years of age and
a resident forty-seven years upon the island-I was well known, and
every arrangement that their circumstances would admit of, was made
to add to our comfort and entertainment. A bag formed of some coarse
material was laid out for our table-cloth, on which was deposited a large
dish of cold fish, some bread, cold potatoes and onions, which, with
some coffee, made in a hurry, formed our breakfast. Caldez took upon
himself the duties of butler and waiter, inspecting with all imaginable
care the two plates and the cups and saucers placed before us, removing
with his fingers any spot indicating a less degree of cleanliness than
was presented by the rest of the article. The knife drawn from his belt,
which very probably had, but a few minutes previously, been employed
in slaying some noble fish, was carefully wiped against his hunting
shirt before it was presented for our acceptance, but as for forks,
there were none to be had. Our appetites however were keen, and we
found no difficulty in making an excellent meal of the viands set before
us. * We did not reach the next fishery, at least thirty-five miles
from where we left our vessel, until about sun-down. A hot sun,
rendered doubly oppressive from the want of wind, made our voyage
any thing but agreeable, and I was not sorry, therefore, when we placed
our feet on solid ground again with a prospect before us of a com-
fortable supper. We here found the forks that had been missing at
Caldez's but alas! the knives were now gone. Necessity, however, is
the mother of invention and we soon found means to dispose of our
provender without them.
"We here found about a dozen buildings with a population of
about fifty: men women and children. The head fisherman received us
very hospitably and gave up his own cot for the night to accommodate
us. We sat however quite late in the porch of his house, he giving me,
through my companion who spoke Spanish, some account of their busi-
ness, but when we did retire the humble character of our quarters did
not prevent our enjoying a refreshing sleep, and we arose the next
morning before daylight, much invigorated and recovered from the
effects of our scorching day before. We continued on our way after
partaking of our coffee which was in readiness for us. * *"
CHARLOTTE HARBOR FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AGO
I continue the extracts from Mr. Whitehead's Journal of his visit to the
harbor in 1831.
"The last fishery, to which we now directed our course, was distant
about five miles, lying a mile or two up a very romantic river, whose
borders presented a succession of the richest verdure. We did not find
the head fisherman at home, so our stay was short, merely giving me
time to make the inquiries I thought necessary as to the number of
inhabitants, the number of buildings &c. We turned back and wafted by
a pleasant breeze we glided through the narrow passes and among the
many islands of the sound, with far greater celerity than had marked
our progress the day before.
"The establishment of our friend Caldez hove in sight early in
the afternoon, and on landing we found a repast prepared for us, which
was a second edition of our breakfast the day before. While our boat
was filling with limes, fish, clams &c. heaped upon us by our well-
meaning entertainers, I wandered back into the island a short distance,
and was surprised to find that quite a considerable mound I was ascend-
ing was composed entirely of oyster shells, and on my return noticed
it to Caldez, who then stated that a tradition had come down to him
from the former inhabitants of the island, that a number of Indians
had resided on the various islands in this vicinity some hundred and
fifty years ago, whose only food were the fish and wild animals they
caught, the hunting of which, with an occasional war with the natives
of the mainland, being their only occupation; and that it was thought
these mounds of shells had been raised while they inhabited the islands,
although at present, there were no beds of oysters in the immediate
The writer would here remark en passant that during the first years of
the settlement on Key West, there was a mound ten or twelve feet high,
and of considerable circumference, composed in a great degree of shells,
about half way between the Custom House and Whitehead's Point, which was
opened about 1833 in the presence of the Commander of some Man-of-war
here at the time, and the Collector of the Customs, but nothing was found
save stones and shells, although the excavation was made to extend below the
surface of the surrounding ground. In 1824-5 one mound was discovered
which contained many bones, pieces of gold &c.-at least that was the story
told subsequently, and which led to making the excavation above referred to.
-Bones were sometimes found when digging foundations and in 1826-7 an
almost entire skeleton of gigantic size was turned up.
Returning to Mr. Whitehead's Journal; after giving Caldez's account of
the war of extermination between the different tribes, culminating in the
fierce battle alluded to on page 5 of Mr. Maloney's Address, it proceeds:
"Seventeen canoes are reported to have been launched upon the
boisterous waves of the Gulf, and only the individuals they contained,
of their whole race, were saved from annihilation, as an overruling
Providence wafted them across to the Cuba shore; where, old Caldez
asserted, some of their descendants are yet to be seen. I had heard part
of this tradition before, but never in so connected a form as related by
our old entertainer. It certainly bears the aspect of truth.
"We reached the Cutter about sundown of the 27th, somewhat
fatigued, but (as to myself) gratified with our jaunt. Wherever we
landed we were hospitably received and entertained, and I have
understood that it is generally the case, but if they did overrate their
hospitable feelings rather more than usual towards us, I can very well
account for it, from their entertaining a suspicion that my visit had
some connection with the relations that were to exist in the future
between them and the government. It is certainly the policy of every
nation to preserve its fisheries for its own citizens, but here there was
no intrusion upon the established rights of any one. No American had
ever established himself near these, while some of the Spaniards
employed had been residents long before the cession of the Territory
to the United States, and old Caldez himself had visited the island he
now inhabits, before the "Declaration of Independence" was promul-
gated. He and others of them would have become citizens long since
had any one taken the trouble to explain to them the necessary ad-
"On the 28th we weighed our anchor and the next morning found
ourselves again at Key West, where on the 30th we sailed for Havana,
some changes wished for by their merchants in the commercial regula-
tions of that port, rendering it advisable that I should see the Intendant.
I had that honor accorded to me after being there a day or two, and
returned to Key West on the 7th December."
The information obtained by Mr. Whitehead was made the basis of
communication to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Delegate from
Florida, Joseph M. White, which being laid before Congress, led to a with-
holding of the approval by that body the Act which has been referred to,
imposing a tax upon these Spaniards. It was shown that in the course of
three years they had paid nearly $5000 into the Treasury for duties, besides
the amount expended at Key West for salt and other necessaries-that the
whole male population numbered about one hundred and twenty, half of
which number probably were Indians; the number of Indian women was
about thirty, and there were from fifty to one hundred children-that they
had some of the Florida Indians among them, and that their settlements might
draw others beyond the Indian boundaries were the only circumstances that
seemed to militate against the privileges they were enjoying. To prevent any
smuggling, in 1833 an Inspector of the Customs was appointed to reside at
Charlotte Harbor; the first one being Dr. Henry B. Crews, who was killed
in the spring of 1836, a victim, it was thought at first, to the hostile Indians,
but afterward with greater probability to his own harsh treatment and im-
proper conduct manifested towards one in his employ.
WRECKING FIFTY YEARS AGO (JULY 7, 1877)
Judge Marvin in his admirable treatise on "Wrecks and Salvage," pub-
lished in 1858, briefly refers to the laws regulating wrecking on the Florida
Coast prior to the establishment of a Court at Key West having Admiralty
Jurisdiction, which did not take place until 1828 ;and notices the passage of
an Act of Congress in 1825, which prohibited the carrying of any wrecked
goods found on the coast to any foreign port and requiring all such goods
to be taken to some port of entry of the United States. Under the present
systematic, well devised mode of transacting the varied business complica-
tions which wrecking creates, it is difficult to realize the state of things existing
just after the settlement of the island. The territory was ceded by Spain to
the United States in 1821, and-as will be seen in Mr. Maloney's able and
interesting historical Address-Key West was made a Port of Entry in 1822.
Previous thereto the Bahama wrecking vessels had uninterrupted range along
the whole coast, and whatever vessels or goods came into their possession
were taken to Nassau. The first steps towards regulating the business were, of
course, not favorable to their further enjoyment of these privileges. In 1822
two New Providence wrecking vessels were seized, because they had on board
some negroes who were slaves, their introduction into our limits being
construed into a violation of the laws, then operative, respecting the slave-
trade, but so long as their crews were composed of free negroes or whites,
there was no law prohibiting their cruising on the coast. In July of the follow-
ing year, however, July 1823, the Legislative Council of the Territory
passed an Act, requiring the Salvors of any wrecked property to bring it to
Key West, where, if an agreement as to compensation could not be made
between them and the Captain or Supercargo of the vessel distressed, a report
had to be made to a Justice of the Peace or Judge of the County who sum-
moned a Jury of five men to decide what salvage should be paid; two of
whom were to be chosen by the salvors, two by the Captain or Supercargo,
and one by the Judge or Justice, who also directed the sale of the goods &c.
Under the provisions of this Act vessels from the Bahamas could wreck
and turtle on the coast, first reporting at Key West on their arrival and
regularly clearing thence on their return. They could not, however, export
turtle, although allowed to sell them at Key West.
Some idea may be formed of the crude manner in which officers were
appointed and laws administered in those days from some facts that have
come down to us. Early in 1824 the Rev. Charles Felch arrived from Tal-
lahassee clothed with authority from Gov. Duval to select proper individuals
to fill certain offices in Monroe County, he being furnished with blank com-
missions, and authorized to confer them upon the persons he might appoint
and administer to them the oaths of office.
Among other appointments made was that of Griffith M. Roberts to the
office of Sheriff, but as he was not a citizen, the same functionary-what he
was called does not appear-granted him a temporary certificate of naturali-
zation, which some months thereafter Mr. Roberts was endeavoring, through
the District Judge at St. Augustine, to exchange for one of a more formal
character. Subsequently John Whitehead, as Judge of the County Court, was
authorized to make appointments, both civil and military, blanks being sent
to him "to fill up with the names of suitable persons," but the population
had increased by little in numbers, as he reported to the Governor, it would
"not afford a sufficient number of capable men, and even if it could a Court
could not be organized from the difficulties which would attend the getting
of a Jury." His position as Judge was a nominal one, only serviceable by
enabling him to take depositions and in expediting the settlement of ques-
tions of salvages. These questions were frequently more complicated than
they otherwise would have been by the semi-martial law that Commodore
Porter and his officers were wont from time to time to consider in force,
much to the annoyance of those engaged in mercantile operations-personal
preferences leading them sometimes to interfere with the execution of certain
duties except by particular persons. The Act itself (of 1823) under which
the wrecking business was conducted, was of doubtful force, and in 1825 a
decision was made in Charleston which called in question the legality of
some of its provisions and threw so much doubt over all of them, that salvors
felt reluctant to act under it and purchasers were equally averse to investing
their money in goods which might be wrested from them in any port to
which they might be shipped. Consequently, in October of that year Richard
Fitzpatrick was sent to Tallahassee to consult with the Territorial Authorities
and the Legislative Council as to the remedies to be applied. The importance
of the wrecking business to the Territory at that time will be seen when it
is stated that three per cent on all sales was collected for the territorial
treasury, and that the gross amount of sales in 1825 exceed $290,000. Whether
any immediate benefit resulted from Mr. Fitzpatrick's embassy, the writer
does not remember-but that same year Congress passed the Act referred to
by Mr. Marvin, prohibiting the carrying of any wrecked goods to a foreign
port, and in 1828 the Superior Court with its admiralty jurisdiction laid the
foundation of the present condition of things.
In one of these reminiscences, mention was made of the jovial enter-
tainments which were among the features of social enjoyment in the early
days of the settlement, and at which songs and stories were made the vehicles
of wit and mirthfulness; and I am tempted to introduce to the present genera-
tion one of the songs with which Mrs. Mallory's dining-room often re-
sounded forty-five years ago not from any special merit it possesses but
simply as a relic of olden time. I copy it as it was sung by the German who
THE FLORIDA WRECKER'S SONG
Air "The Garden Gate."
Come all good people von and all,
Come listen to my song,
A few remarks I have to make-
They'll not detain you long-
About our vessels stout and good
As ever yet were built of wood,
Sailing when de breakers roar-
De breakers of Florida shore.
Key Tavernier's our rendesvous,
At anchor dere we lie,
Ve see de vessels in de Gulf
Unfearing pass us by.
De night come on, ve drink and sing
Vile de current sets de vessels in,-
Midst de rocks vere de breakers roar
De breakers of Florida shore.
Ven morning dawn ve run away
And every sail we set,
And if de vind it should prove light,
Vy den de sails ve vet;
To gain her first each eager strives,
To save de goods and peoples lives-
Midst de rocks vere de breakers roar
Ve wreckers of Florida shore.
Alongside got, ve find she's bilged,
Ve know veil vat to do,
Save all de cargo dat ve can,
De sails and rigging too.
Den to Key West ve quickly go
And soon our salvage ve do know,
Dere every ding is fairly sold
And de money down to us is told.
Den von veeks cruise on shore ve take
Before ve sail again,
And drink success to sailor lads
Who're ploughing on de main.
Den if you're passing by dis vay,
And on de reef should chance to stray,
Ve'll velcome you once more on shore
Midst de rocks vere de breakers roar.
First in Palm Beach
By Louis CAPRON
You remember, of course, the story of Lang, the Confederate deserter,
nd the beginnings of Palm Beach. J. Wadsworth Travers opened with it
.n his "History of Beautiful Palm Beach", and it has always been the
traditional genesis.1 This is Mr. Traver's version:
"It was in 1867 that Palm Beach had its beginning.... In October of
1867, George W. Sears of Miami made a trip to Indian River in a 'sharpie'
and returning, managed to enter a small opening between the ocean and the
lake, near where the inlet now is. He sailed past a point where the Cluett
home now stands, and seeing a man standing by a palmetto tree, went ashore
to investigate. He learned that the fellow was a deserter from the Confed-
erate army and that he had a pal named Matthews, though the latter was
away at the time. He was surprised to hear that the war had ended two years
before. Upon Captain Sears return home, he told Charlie Moore of the
beautiful lake he had discovered and Moore and a companion immediately
secured a dory and provisions and set sail for the lake. Arriving at their
destination, they looked everywhere for Lang, the deserter, but he had
"Moore liked the place and decided to make it his home, but his com-
panion concluded that there were too many snakes and wild animals, so he
returned to Biscayne Bay. Moore later took up a homestead and it is upon
this land that the first church in Palm Beach the Episcopal was erected."
Moore is supposed to have appropriated the dwelling deserted by Lang,
the Confederate deserter. And it has always been supposed that, learning
the war was over and that it was safe for him to return, Lang had headed
back to his former home. But it wasn't so and Lang wasn't very far away
- that is, as distances are today.
i J. Wadsworth Travers, History of Beautiful Palm Beach, (Palm Beach 1928).
In 1871, "The Florida Gazetteer", compiled and published by J. M.
Hawkes, M. D., New Orleans, 1871, 214p, contained the itinerary of a party
that had travelled down the East Coast of Florida in 1870. This was repub-
lished in the Florida Historical Quarterly in October, 1939 and January,
1940, and shows the lack of communication in those days and explains why
Moore lost track of Lang.
"JUPITER LIGHTHOUSE Here is the end of your boat travel
inside . The family of the lighthouse-keeper, although quite social at
their own house, very rarely make afternoon calls, after the manner of towns-
people. They had not even called on Mrs. Gleason, their next door neighbor,
to the south, although they had lived so near for three years only a hun-
dred miles, and four creeks and rivers to ford.
"From the top of the lighthouse may be seen Lake Worth, seven miles
south.... Lang, who until 1868 lived alone on an island in that lake, knows
of a short haulover where boats can be taken from a branch of Jupiter
across into the lake."
And further on:
"LAKE WORTH, on our right, was formerly a fresh lake, but Lang
wanted a private inlet of his own, so he cut a canal a hundred paces, through
the beach, and let in the salt water. Then he had a 'pretty kettle of fish', for
the water became salt and the fish all died, and floating ashore died by
cartloads, making such a stench that Lang had to clear out to find clearer
air. And so this inlet for awhile made a salt water bay, the favorite resort
of myriads of fish from the sea. But on a certain unlucky day a few months
before our visit there, a relentless northeaster had closed up Lang's cut with
quicksand, and lo! the incoming creeks are changing the waters of the lake
to fresh again; which process in its turn kills the salt water fish, and thou-
sands of them were floating, or lodged along the shore, in every stay of
decay, and scenting the air for miles....
"Our first night on the beach was near Lang's Island, and our larder
was replenished from his four acre potato patch, which was running wild."
So that's why Lang left! But where was Charlie Moore? And now hang
on to your hats, the most fantastic part of the story is still to come!
In 1873, the publishers of Forest and Stream, a sportsman's magazine,
sent an expedition to Florida to explore the region around Lake Okeechobee
and report on the routes thither and the hunting and fishing. It started about
December 1, 1873 and was headed by Mr. F. A. Ober, a young naturalist of
Massachusetts. They were gone about four months, and Ober wrote several
papers about it under the pseudonym of "Fred Beverly." These were pub-
lished, with other similar articles, in Camp Life in Florida, A Handbook for
Sportsmen and Settlers, compiled by Charles Hallock, in 1876.
In these articles, Ober confined himself strictly to matters of interest to
"sportsmen and settlers," but in 1887 he wrote a book for boys entitled The
Knockabout Club in the Everglades. In it he incorporated a grim and grisly
who-done-it which may explain the final disappearance of Lang. It is the
story of two boys who are on an exploring expedition to Lake Okeechobee.
They reach Fort Pierce, and the story continues:2
"The trading post at Fort Pierce was to have been placed at our dispo-
sition; but the man in charge wanted a day to move out, and so we waited,
not removing anything from our boats. About midnight a small boat came
off to us stealthily, and the boatman in it awoke us with the startling intel.
ligence that a murder had been committed ashore, and we were needed to
join the force of residents who were going out to hunt up the murderers.
"The circumstances attending the murder were these: Two young men
('crackers') named Drawdy and Padgett came up to the cabin of a Mr. Lang,
a German, who had started a nursery some miles from the lagoon, in the
pine woods. After taking dinner with him, they requested him to set them
across the creek in his boat. He complied, taking them over the creek, about
an eighth of a mile from his house; and at about the same time he should
have landed them, his wife (at the house) heard the report of fire-arms,
since which he hadn't been seen. That was two days before our arrival, but
his distracted wife had just got to the lagoon with the news as we reached
Fort Pierce. There were very few people in this section, the sheriff was
nearly one hundred miles away, and it really looked as one of the men
who brought the news declared as if there were no law in this country at all.
a F. A. Ober, The Knockabout Club in the Everglades: The Adventures of the Club in
Exploring Lake Okeechobee (Boston 1887). citing pp. 90, 93, 94, 96, 100, 126.
"We were all much excited. Everybody said it was outrageous, and that
something should be done; but nobody was ready to take the lead, and so
the murderers went at liberty, defying the law."
"We that is, Sally Osceola, Billy, Jimmy, and Jarneky then said
good-by to my partner, the Antiquarian, and trudged over the sand hills
into the pine forest. Late in the afternoon we reached the only cabin on the
trail, the house said to contain the men who had shot Mr. Lang. There was
nothing to do but to stop there a while, as the trail led right by their garden,
though our camping-place for the night was four miles beyond.
"The owner of the cabin, Jernigan, I had known two years before, when
he had led me off into the forests with the intention (as I afterwards be-
lieved) of losing me there and appropriating my 'plunder.' He was an evil-
appearing man, with a black-looking face half hidden by a rusty beard, and
always carried a gun over his arm. He hailed me with apparent joy, and
introduced me to young Drawdy, one of the suspected murderers, a simple-
looking, not ill-favored young man.
"While I was drying my clothing for I had forded a creek a mile
above this young man came into the house and got his gun, drawing out
the buckshot, seventeen in number, from the barrel, and then firing off the
powder. The other barrel was empty! The significance of this lies in the
fact that with this gun he had shot the German, and had not reloaded it
since, as was later proved when he was captured.
"Jernigan tried to make himself agreeable, and was eager for news
from the lagoon, saying he had heard that Mrs. Lang was at Fort Pierce
trying to get a posse out to search for the slayers of her husband. He was
anxious to know if anything would be done, and particularly inquired if Mr.
Stewart, the sheriff, had arrived. He said he didn't know much about Mr.
Lang, but had heard that he was a mighty had man. 'They do 'low round
here,' he explained, 'thet he hed been taken with heart disease, and crawled
off and died. It's a right smart sudding disease, and persons has ofting been
tuk with it, specially sich as Lang, which shoots our cattle when they feel
"It was apparent that he knew something of the murder, if he had not
been concerned in it; and I thought that my best policy (at least for the
time being) was a non-commital one. I realized that I had unsuspiciously
stepped into a nest of serpents, and heartily wished myself back at Indian
River. But it would not do to recede, and so I went on with my Indian
"At Ten-mile Creek, four miles beyond, the sun went down as Billy was
making our camp-fire."
".. .let us retrace my trail now, in order to finish my account of the
doings of Jernigan and his crew.
"It was nearly a week later when, having finished my exploration of the
country to be traversed with the boat, I returned to Indian River. I had a
guide to a point within twenty miles of the lagoon, and thence went on alone,
as the trail was well marked, though nearly ten miles of the distance was
under water, through which I waded half knee-deep. At about mid-afternoon
I reached Alpattiokee Creek, where we had first camped, and arrived at
Jernigan's cabin 'an hour by sun,' or just before sunset.
"Jernigan and all the men were out hunting, his wife said; but she gave
me a good supper, and then, in spite of her earnest appeals to stay till after
her husband's return, I went on towards the coast. It was then seven miles
to the lagoon. Two miles beyond was Five-mile Creek, which was a very
bad piece of water to cross, and I wished to get to the other side of it before
dark. So I was walking swiftly on, at the very top of my speed, and had
almost reached it, when I heard a whistle near me. Looking around, I saw
Jernigan and Drawdy approaching, on horseback; while two other men
could be seen slinking off into the distant woods. They said they had been
out hunting; but they were heavily armed and came from the direction of
St. Lucie Prong, where stood the dwelling of Mr. Lang! They rode close
up to me, and urged me to go back with them to the cabin. I held my rifle
carelessly in the hollow of my arm, but it was quite ready for action in case
of any suspicious movement on their part; and so I stood, half at bay, while
they seemed to be making up their minds what course to pursue.
"Jernigan was the man I wished to engage to take my boat across
country to Lake Okeechobee, as he had the only oxen and cart-wheels in
this section of the country. He was very willing to do it, as I made him a
liberal offer, but was afraid to go into Fort Pierce to get the boat. If I would
meet him at the creek, he would engage to carry my party the whole distance.
This I could not do, and he finally agreed to go in for the boat in ten days'
time, as he first had 'right smart of planting to do;' but I was to treat him
squarely, and not say anything to his hurt, for he had heard 'how them Indian
River fellers spicioned' him and his partners of the Lang affair.
"Then I said good-by, and pushed on again, as they turned about and
made towards their cabin. It was then quite late, and night was already
spreading its gloom over the swamps as I reached the hammock bordering
the creek, and walked over the slender poles across it in fear and trembling.
Ah! but it was gloomy above that deep alligator hole, into which a single
misstep would have plunged me!
"It was fairly dark as I waded the 'branch' struck off across the marshy
plain, and pushed on into the woods. Just before darkness obstructed the
view, I glanced back, and saw something that made my blood tingle with
anticipatory danger. I saw the four men I had left behind me circling to
right and left two on each side, as if to flank my course and head me off
before I could reach the lagoon.
"Nothing has since occurred to justify me in the surmise that they
intended to cut off my retreat and put me out of the way, as one possessing
dangerous information against them, except some dark hints from Jernigan,
two weeks later, that I nearly lost the 'number of my mess' that night.
"The people at the Fort (Fort Pierce) had collected quite a number of
facts regarding the murder, forming indeed a perfect chain of circumstantial
evidence against the two Drawdys and Padgett, with Old Jernigan as accom-
plice. The sheriff had been here, but was afraid to act, as Jernigan and his
friends were reported strongly intrenched in their cabin and had threatened
to shoot every man coming out to arrest them.
"To complete the episode (which occurred several years ago), let me
insert an extract from a Florida newspaper of two years later, which was
sent me while absent from home in the West Indies. Jernigan had often said
to me that he would never be taken alive, and it seems by this account that
it was no idle boast. The following is the extract:
A Murderer Killed. Information has been received from
Fort Thompson, Manatee County, saying that Elias Jernigan, one of
the murderers of O. A. Lang, was killed near that place on the 18th
of January, by a posse who were attempting to arrest him. The
facts in relation to the murder of Mr. Lang are written by Mr. C.
S. Williams, and published in the 'Union.' Mr. Williams, in the
course of a long sojourn in the Indian River country, became ac-
quainted, we believe, with Mr. Lang, who, in some respects, was an
odd genius. He says: 'Mr. 0. A. Lang was a shrewd German gar-
dener, educated and accomplished in his business, and well versed
in botany and other scientific studies. He came to this country about
ten years since, and some eight years ago settled with his family
on Lake Worth, Dade County, Florida. Here he lived a solitary
life, having no neighbors nor associates, except a few "beach-
combers," or "wreckers," and some straggling Seminoles; introduc-
ing foreign plants and cultivating vegetables and fruits about six
years. He it was who opened the communication between the At-
lantic Ocean and Lake Worth, since become noted as the subject
of a claim by W. H. Gleason under his contract with the state for
ditching, Gleason claiming that Lang did it in his employ. While
living here, Lang made careful and thoroughly scientific examina-
tions of the fauna and flora of that section, and prepared several
books of preserved foliage as specimens, with botanical descrip.
tions attached. Wearied of his monotonous life, he removed to a
location on the St. Lucie River, some twenty miles or more from
its mouth, where he established a home, and finally secured a title
to a tract of land, part of which was on an island in the river, and
there he made a clearing, and planted various tropical fruits ,etc.,
but for some reason he acquired the enmity of his neighbors if
families living several miles distant can be called neighbors, and it
was reported that he was in the habit of shooting their hogs and
cattle. Whether this was true or not, or whether it was but a pretext
for getting rid of him, is uncertain, but one morning, about two
years since, two men came to his house, pretending to be hunting
horses. They were known to him, living not far away, and he took
them in to breakfast, gave them such information as he could, and
finally put them across the river in his boat, when they shot and
killed him his wife distinctly hearing the shots. His body was
sunk in the river, but it rose after a few days, and was cut in pieces
by the murderers, and the parts stuffed into alligator holes. Subse-
quent developments revealed the fact that four men were connected
with the murder, of whom the Jernigan above-mentioned was one.
Some were arrested, and one is now in prison for the crime; the
others left the country. Mrs. Lang, with her two or three children,
abandoned their plantation, and is said to be living with relatives
near New Smyrna. The improvements have gone to ruin, although
sugar-cane, bananas, and other fruits are growing there, to be
gathered only by wandering Indians and stray hunters. For several
years Lang kept a diary, which is said to be in the possession of a
resident of Indian River, and contains much that would be of value
to citizens and fruit-growers if it were published.'"
Finally, a quote from the Tallahassee Sentinel of Feb. 28, 1874, ap-
pears to confirm this version of the Lang story.
"Murder in Brevard County. About the first of this month A. Long (sic)
living on Five-mile creek, near the St. Lucie River, was decoyed from his
house and killed by Thomas Daughtrey and Alien Padgett. It is supposed
he was murdered for his money. Our correspondent says the country is
infested with lawless characters. The notorious Green, who murdered Griffin
on the Halifax about two years ago, is living in the neighborhood where
Long was killed."
But Ober did not have the whole of the fantastic story. An earlier trip
to Florida in 1872 had convinced him that the only way to reach Lake
Okeechobee and explore it, was by boat. So he had a light boat of shallow
draught built and brought it with him in 1874. He collected his party at
Fort Capron "Though I had undertaken the exploration alone and unaided,
when the final start was made my party included five persons besides myself
and the two drivers.... The Professor had come to me recommended by the
leading naturalist of America. He was a valuable acquisition, erudite and
companionable, The Doctor, his friend, was an indefatigable collector and
naturalist, who had visited nearly every Indian tribe in North and South
America, and had much experience in tropical countries. Two students
accompanied them, fresh from college and enthusiastic. But the mighty man
of valor was a Dutchman, whom we will call Van Buster, whose only aim in
life seemed to be to see strange sights and lands, and report thereon."
The "Professor" was John Whipple Potter Jenks of Brown University
in Providence. He was collecting material for the University museum. His
notes of the expedition were not published until 1887, when they provided
a series of six articles in the November and December issues of Forest and
Stream, under the title, "Hunting in Florida in 1874."3 The following year
he had a booklet printed under that title for complimentary distribution. It
a J. W. P. Jenks, Hunting in Florida in 1874, A collection of Articles from Forest and
Stream, Vol. 29: 323-325, 344-345, 362, 384-385, 402-403, 424-425 November and De-
cember 1872) citing pp. 12 & 23ff.
corroborates Ober's story and adds the fascinating detail that Mr. J. "prom-
ised his daughter in marriage to "a young man of nineteen, whom we will
call Tom," if the deed should be carried out successfully. The "Professor"
was present at the wedding.
His meeting with Ober is described by Jenks as follows -
"At 4 P.M. we landed at Fort Capron, the projected base of our swamp
operations. Stepping from the boat, a Yankee explorer [Ober] bound also
to Lake Okeechobee, grasped my hand, and in a trice told me that he had
brought out a sail-boat all the way from New York City, with the intention
of having it carried across the country, sixty miles, by an ox-team, to Fort
Bassinger, on Kissimie River, down which he proposed to navigate it till it
should usher him into the lake, and, moreover, he was only waiting to make
up a party of four, having already secured one. Here was a dilemma. The
addition of my party would make the number six, while the utmost capacity
of the boat would accommodate but four. It was, however, quickly decided
that we should all go to the river together, and then mature our plans
according to circumstances. To secure the services of an ox-team and driver,
the "Explorer" and Erwin volunteered a tramp of ten miles to the cabin of
a "cracker" who was understood to be able to furnish the team. On their
return the following day they reported themselves successful, and Saturday
fixed upon as the date of departure, the "cracker" engaging to take the boat
and all luggage to the river at the point designated for forty dollars.
"As the day of our departure drew near, I was informed that we should
pass through a settlement of outlaws, ten miles distant, every man of whom
had left his native region for that region's good, and located himself outside
of "law and gospel" just over the frontier line of civilization. The owner of
our team was accounted a leader among them, and by way of cautioning me,
my informant related, under the promise of secrecy, the particulars of a
murder, within three weeks, by two of the gang, of an honest, industrious
German, who had made for himself a home just outside of their settlement.
He being a man of education and some degree of refinement, not affiliating
with them, and, withal being envied the possession of a better orange planta-
tion than they had, though wholly the result of his own industry, it was
decided to get rid of him on the damning charge of being a stealer and killer
of cattle. Among Floridian "crackers" this is a far more heinous crime than
that of taking human life, and once fastened upon a man, if only on suspi-
cion, immediately puts him out of the protection of such law as may exist.
Finding their victim could not be driven away, their usual resort to treachery
was adopted, and the deed committed to two desperate ruffians, one a young
man of nineteen, whom we will call Tom, and who will figure largely in
the sequel of this narrative. To him, as the story was told me, our team
owner promised his daughter in marriage, if successful. At first, every effort
was made to provoke a quarrel that would give some shadow of excuse for
the execution of their plot; but the imperturbably good nature of the honest
German would not beguile him into a dispute. At length under the pretext
of desiring some orange-slips from his excellent grove, they called at his
cabin and asked for dinner. Both dinner and slips were cheerfully given them,
and then requesting their host to set them across the deep creek about a
quarter of a mile from his house, he went with them for the purpose, but
did not return. Soon after leaving, his wife heard four gun and three pistol
shots in quick succession; but surmissing they were fired at game, waited
till near dark for her husband's return, and then repaired to the creek, only
to be horrified by the sight of blood in the boat still securely fastened on
the other side. It was subsequently proven that the assassins sought to
cover up the evidence of their guilt by dragging the body a half mile below,
and thrusting its desmembered fragments into alligator holes. The wife,
snatching up her young child, traversed the gloomy wilderness for ten miles,
at the dead of night, to Fort Capron and reported the deed. The following
week the sheriff of the county with a posse of ten men, started for the settle-
ment with the intention of arresting the guilty parties. When within five miles
of it he was met by a delegation informing him that his design was known,
and the whole neighborhood was assembled in one cabin with plenty of
arms and provisions, and ready to endure a siege, but no one could be
arrested while a man or woman remained alive. Under these circumstances
and considering "discretion the better part of valor," the sheriff beat a hasty
retreat. Thus the matter stood two weeks subsequent, as I was about to
enter the community, my informant closing up his narration with the remark
that he felt it his duty to let me know the character of those to whom I was
about to trust myself and my party, but cautioned me on no account to
breath a suspicion of any one or reveal the secret to either of my companions,
lest it might be suspected by the outlaws that we had some knowledge avail-
able to the government, and, on the principle that "dead men tell no tales"
find our last resting place in concealed alligator holes, even if their cupidity
should permit us to return from the swamp after they had fleeced us to the
extent we might permit. Forewarned, forearmed, I the more persistently
determined to penetrate the mystery and walk the strand of Lake Okee-
In crossing Five Mile Creek, a wheel broke, and after considerable delay
the party reached the teamster's cabin with their belongings. There they were
told that the load must be lightened. "Fred and myself volunteered to remain,
while Doctor P. and Erwin insisted upon advancing." However, "Just before
they were ready to start, the Teamster came to me and said he had in the
woods another pair of steers that six months before had been yoked. These
Tom would catch and with a light cart take the luggage of Fred and myself
on the morrow... a neighbor had left a boat at the fort, in which he would
take Fred and myself to the lake and back to the fort in one day, while the
oxen were resting. Then we would return to his cabin together." However,
after various delays they met the Teamster returning with the ox-cart, who
reported there was no boat at the fort and it was sixty miles from there to
the lake, so they returned to the cabin together.
"As suggested by Tom, towards sundown of the day following our
return I observed men, women and children gathering at the cabin, mostly
on foot, but some on horseback and others in ox-carts. At length a man rode
up of graver mien and with horse more richly caparisoned than any other
I had seen. Soon Mr. J. brought him to my tent, and taking me aside said,
'This man is a justice of the peace, and has come sixty miles to marry Tom
to my daughter to-night, but there is a hitch in the arrangement, as last
week's mail has failed to bring the license sent for.... Now what do you
advise, as the justice cannot wait two weeks for another mail, and my neigh-
bors for ten miles around are all gathered to witness the ceremony? As the
malfeasance would be wholly on the part of the justice, inasmuch as should
he perform his part with their consent, they would be legally married to all
intent and purpose, it was finally decided that Mr. J. and Tom should give the
justice a written obligation, with myself as witness, to send him the certificate
as soon as possible, which document they both signed by making their mark,
after I had assured them it was written correctly. Nothing further hindering,
Tom and his bride took position on the platform connecting the two rooms
of the log cabin, while the justice pronounced them, without any question-
ing or pledging, husband and wife. Tom had exchanged his teaming suit for
a similar one, only more cleanly, and his bride contented herself with plain
calico without ornaments of any kind, but with shoes and stockings the
first time I had seen her wear any. After the ceremony, the bride's mother
and grandmother stepped up and shook hands without kissing, and were
followed by her father without coat or vest, shoes or stockings, but with shirt
shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and his pants to his knees. After a long
pause, I considered it my turn to shake hands with them, though, with all
my knowledge of their antecedents, and at how fearful a price Tom had
gained his bride, I could hardly bring my mind to congratulate them upon
their union. The ice broken, there was a rush for handshaking, after which
Mr. J. brought out a fiddle with two strings and called for dancing. Unable
to aid in this part of the festivity, I soon retired to my tent, though disturbed
till daylight with the music and toe-tripping."
"I have learned from newspapers," the Professor says in his conclud-
ing pages, "that soon after I left the region a determined sheriff went into
the settlement with a posse, and shot Mr. J. dead in his tracks while resisting
arrest, but brought Tom to trial, who was, for the want of positive evidence,
convicted only of manslaughter, and died within a year in the State prison."
"Less than a year after," the professor adds in concluding this account,
"I found the following in the Boston Transcript, but by whom written I
know not, nor, through correspondence with true men in the vicinity of Fort
Capron, have I been able to obtain other than conflicting accounts of the
arrests and trials.
Now that spiritualism is being brought so prominently forward,
it is interesting to learn, from the Chicago Tribune, that an inge-
nious attorney in Florida was the first person to discover a practical
value in it. His client, Tom Drawdy, was accused of murdering one
Lang, and the jury was composed of eight colored and four ig-
norant white men. There was no doubt of the murder; there was no
flaw in the evidence. But the counsel found one. He maintained
that no proof of Lang's death had been given and, in all proba-
bility, he was still hiding to obtain revenge. This made a commo-
tion, but the main argument was yet to come. The gentlemen of
the jury had heard that spirits were very common all over the
North; that some had even been heard of in St. Augustine. Suppos-
ing the jury brought in a verdict of guilty and hanged an innocent
man, what could they expect but that his spirit would haunt them
through life, appearing with staring eyes and clammy tongue, the
death damp on his hands and the horrors of the tomb round about
him? Of course they must take the responsibility, and they did, by
acquitting Tom Drawdy forthwith.
There is another version of this fantastic trial in Historical, Industrial
and Commercial Data of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Dade County, Florida,"
by F. W. DeCroix, published about 1911.
"August Lang was an old German, and rumor has it that at one time
he was gardener of the German Emperor.... A sad ending came to this
honorable old man. (He) moved his family from the Lake Worth district,
and settled up on the 'Ten Mile Creek', just above White City, in St. Lucie
County. One day the old man was missing. Search was made, but to no avail,
he could not be found. One day a man named Hendry told a story that
paralyzed the country. In a quarrel amongst Lang, Drawdy, and a man named
Padgett, Drawdy and Padgett killed Old Man Lang, and cut up his body
and placed it in some alligator holes, the 'gators destroying the corpse.
Young Hendry had witnessed the killing, and the two murderers so frightened
him that he became insane over the tragedy, but before losing his mind,
he revealed the facts and the two were brought to trial. In those days there
were no white men available for jury duty, and the two were tried by
"They were brought to Ocala, and received a sentence of eight years.
Now comes the part where the attorney for the murderers had his share in
the history of this case. The negroes who were jurors in the trial of Drawdy
and Padgett, naturally superstitious, were affected to a considerable degree
by stories of ghosts, hobgoblins and such. The least mention of the dead was
sufficient to cause a stampede of all the negro race in the country, whether
they were in court or in church. The wiley attorney for the defense, in a
moment when the jurors were about to announce sentence, sprang up with
a shout and with fear upon his features, with a long bony forefinger pointing
to the trembling blacks, shouted, 'You want to hang these men? Why,
their ghosts will come back and haunt you for the rest of your days!' That
settled it, with the sentence and frightened screams mingled together, they
rushed from the building, and scattered broadcast. One authority states that
some of the blacks are running yet."
The reason, of course, that white jurors were scarce, was that most of
the white residents of suitable age, had fought in the Confederate army and
were still un-reconstructed and, therefore, not citizens.
It would be a shame not to include in this collection, a letter in the
Tri-WeekIy Florida Union of Saturday, Sept. 12, 1874, not only because it
sheds new light on law-enforcement of the day, but even more because of
its transcendent prose.
A Dastardly Murder
Titusville, Fla., Sept. 5th, 1874
To the Editor of the Union:
Sir: Some time since this section of the
State was thrown into intense excitement
over the report of the most dastardly and
brutal murder ever committed and under
the most atrocious circumstances. The
facts were immediately communicated to
Governor Stearns, who has taken every step
in his power, as the Executive of the State
to bring the chief actor of this horrible crime
to condign and speedy punishment. In or-
der that the readers of this article may not
be confounded in the locality of this outrage,
I will simply state, that this murder was
committed on four mile creek, near the ex-
treme southern end of Brevard county, a
stream running into the St. Lucie river,
which empties into the St. Lucie sound, one
hundred and twenty-five miles south of this
place. The victim of this complicated and
revolting murder was a German, by the
name of A. Lang, who, with his young wife,
had sought out this remote locality for the
purpose of horticultural pursuits, it being
below the frost line. A man of science and
education. As a botanist he had no equal,
having at one time been the chief gardener to
the King of Saxony. It was here, whilst
surrounded only by his wife, engaged in the
introduction of rare flowers, as well of the
different varieties of choice tropical fruits,
foregoing all the luxuries and comforts of
life he was struck down without a moments
warning by the hand of the assassin, under
circumstances so revolting, and so cowardly
that it created terror and awe in the heart
of every good and law abiding citizen. One
Allen Pagett, and one Thomas Drawdy, with
others unknown, concocted a plan for his
destruction. Under the garb of friendship
they went to Lang's house, and after receiving
his kind and generous hospitality, they
requested him to set them across the river,
which he cheerfully complied with having
no idea or conception of foul play he went
into the boat unarmed, whilst Pagett and
Drawdy carried each a double-barrel shot
gun, but a few moments had elapsed, when the
sharp crack of several guns was heard at the
landing, and A. Lang passed from this life to
eternity. Not satisfied with their foul and
hellish murder, in order to hide their crime
from the face of man, they placed weights to
his mangled corpse and sank it into the St.
Lucie river, in a secluded spot, under the
mangroves. "But murder will out." The
spirit of A. Lang, with the shattered trunk
once more came to the surface it would not
stay down; and then in the clear light of
Heaven, without a witness, save that all-seeing
eye, in order to blot the record out, of their
cold and unrelenting act, they drag his body
ashore, and then commenced one of the most
horrible debaucheries of barbarism ever
known in any civilized country. With their
knives and axes they chopped the body into
pieces, and with long sticks put the remains
into the alligator holes under the banks of
the St. Lucie river. Their bloody and most
damnable work did not awe them, After a
lapse of time, Mr. Lang not returning, his
wife almost frantic with grief, knowing but
too well the meaning of the firing of those
guns, left her home with an old woman by
the name of Betsey, and went into Fort
Pearce, a distance of ten miles. Gathering
some friends, they returned, and instead of
finding her beautiful rural home, it was a
sad waste. Those lawless men had destroy-
ed it all plants, flowers, and thousands of
fancy trees, were either pulled up or cut
down, and the work of years destroyed in a
single hour. You may ask why is this?
Why are not the laws put into execution? I
will tell you. The Governor of Florida has
found it impossible to find persons to accept
his appointments, and the county being
sparcely settled, the settlers being more or
less in constant dread of these lawless men,
not knowing at what moment they might
share the same fate of A. Lang. But thanks
to Governor Stearns and his prompt action in
this matter, and through Hon. John Price,
Judge of this district, in the absence of coun-
ty offices in Brevard County, the High
Sheriff, Arthur Speer, and the High Sheriff,
Kit Hart, of Orange and Volusia counties,
with a strong posse of men with Bench
warrants, proceeded to arrest this gang.
They returned with Thomas Drawdy, have
placed him in strong irons and ere this
reaches you the ringleaders will be in the
Orange county jail, and it is to be hoped for
the sake of this progressive and civilized age
in which we live these men may be hanged,
and the law vindicated. Now let J. B. C.
Drew, U. S. District Attorney do his duty,
under complaint in regard to robbing strand-
ed vessels &c, on this coast, and this beauti-
ful country will soon be the pride of every
Floridian. Yours, ARIZONA.
Tri-Weekly Florida Union.
Saturday, Sept. 12, 1874
But if we are going back into the origins in the Palm Beaches, Lang is
recent. This garden spot has probably always been a chosen living place of
man except during its periodic subsidences under the sea. Several thousand
years ago, no doubt, it was the home of some relative of the "Vero Man,"
that prehistoric gentleman whose bones were uncovered under the marl in
excavating a canal spillway near Vero Beach half a century ago, and whose
pre-glacial status is still under discussion.* Various other skeletons brought
up from varying depths indicate a continuity of life in this region but no
4 George Grant McCurdy, "Archaeological Evidences of Man's Antiquity in Florida",
The Journal of Geology XXV (February 1917).
personalities. It was not until the Seminole War and the year 1841, that an
individual stands out, and his name was given to the place now known as
West Palm Beach.
On November 5, 1841, Captain R. D. A. Wade of the Third Artillery,
accompanied by Lieutenant Thomas of the Third Artillery, who, in a fateful
September twenty-two years later was the General George Thomas who won
the title, "The Rock of Chickamauga," Assistant Surgeon Emerson, and 60
N. C. officers and men, embarked at Fort Lauderdale in twelve canoes and
with provisions for fifteen days. In the bay at the Hillsboro Inlet, they
captured an Indian who led them to a village, fifteen miles to the west,
where they surprised and captured twenty Indians and killed eight. A little
later, finding the going difficult, they left the prisoners, the boats and a guard
in charge of Surgeon Emerson and proceeded on foot.-
"Under the guidance of an old Indian, found among our prisoners, who
is called Chia-chee," Wade reported, "I took up a line of march through
nearly a mile of deep bog and saw-grass, then through the pine-barren and
some hammock, to a cypress swamp, a distance of some thirty miles north-
ward. Here (on the 8th instant) we were conducted to another village, which
we also surrounded and surprised, and captured twenty-seven Indians, took
six rifles and one shot gun, and destroyed a large quantity of provisions and
four canoes. The next morning we set out on our return to the boats.
...Having seen much in the old man, Chia-chee, to inspire my confidence,
I permitted him to go from our camp . to bring in other Indians, which
he promised to do in three or four days. This promise he subsequently
redeemed, having . brought in six ... at Fort Lauderdale." On November
6, both Captain Wade and Lieutenant Thomas were advanced a grade in
Captain Wade was laconic. His report was to the military point and
said little about the country. A rough map of the area accompanied the
report and was incorporated in future maps, but the details had to wait for
fifteen years, when the Second Seminole War was long over and the Third, or
Billy Bowlegs War, was building up. Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War,
faced with military operations in the unsettled, uncharted and practically
unknown Everglades, turned over to Lieutenant J. C. Ives," of the Topo-
s John T. Sprague, The Florida War (New York 1847 p. 392.
6 J. C. Ives, Memoir to Accompany a Military Map of the Peninsula of Florida South
of Tampa Bay, April 1856.
graphical Engineers, the job of compiling a military map of the country
south of Tampa Bay, and a memoir descriptive of the area based on expedi-
tion reports from the recent war. Ives turned the "general Direction" of this
over to Captain A. A. Humphreys, of the Topographical Engineers. This was
very fortunate for us, because Humphreys, then a lieutenant, although un-
mentioned in dispatches, probably because he was a surveyor and not a West
Pointer, accompanied the Wade expedition and kept a copious journal. We
know this because a foot note to the section, "Inland Routes from Fort
Jupiter to Fort Lauderdale", reads, The information here given is taken from
a journal kept by Lieut. Humphreys, Topographical Engineers, while passing
over the line in company with Captain Wade's command, in 1841."
There were probably no longer any Indians in the Palm Beach area.
Wade had carried them off as prisoners. When General Harney had a "Mili-
tary Map" drawn up in April, 1857, after numerous scouts had been ordered
by the General, there was nothing to show Chai's Village or Chai's landing
either on the area map of Major C. S. Pemberton, who had charge of the
scouting parties in this section, or on the master map drawn by Captain J.
W. Albert under orders of General Harney. But, thanks to Humphreys,
there is on the Ives map, and a detailed description is in the Memoirs. "Cha-
chee's Village" appears on the map, and "Cha-chi's Landing" in the Memoir,
although Chai was now living in the Manatee region with his wife, Polly.
'Cha-chi's Village" appears also on the "Jeff Davis Map" of 1856.
Wade's party was in the vicinity of the Palm Beaches twice, once on
his way north along Lake Worth, and again on the trip south from Fort
Jupiter along the higher, dryer route further inland. Thus we have two
descriptions of Cha-chi's enterprise. Let us take up the south bound first.
"Lake Worth, is a pretty sheet of water, about twenty miles
long and three quarters of a mile in width; bounded on the west by
pine barren, and on the east by the sand hills of the beach, which
are sometimes twelve or fifteen feet in height, and covered with
cabbage trees, wild figs, mangroves, saw palmettos, &c,, with here
and there a variety of the cactus. In the center of the lake, a mile
and a half from the head, is an island [Munyon's Island], bearing a
tree resembling the wild fig in appearance, with a fruit like the olive
in shape and size, of a yellow color when ripe, and used by the
Indians as food. A delicate running vine is also here found, yield-
ing a vegetable about three quarters of an inch long, with a flavor
similar to that of the cucumber. Opposite to the middle of the haul-
over, only eighty yards across, descending twelve feet to the sea, at
an angle of forty-five degrees. Two and a half miles further on is
another haulover, one hundred yards in width. Below, along the
eastern border of the lake, are long strips of cultivable ground
about two hundred yards wide, separated from the beach by ponds
and wet prairie. These were formerly tilled by the Indians who had
large villages in the neighborhood. The soil is light but very rich,
being almost entirely vegetable mould. Rock occasionally makes
its appearance on the surface, and heaps of sea shells are strewn
here and there. The country on the west side would afford fine
"Six miles from the last haulover, on the west side of the lake,
is Chachi's landing. A broad trail, half a mile in length, formerly
led from this place over a spruce scrub towards the villages of the
Indians whose gardens were on the opposite side of Lake Worth,
which they reached by hauling their canoes over the trail. The
last fields were five miles from the foot of the lake."
"The second inland water route from Fort Jupiter to Fort
Lauderdale . diverges from the one just described, at the point
where the water leaves Lake Worth Creek. An extensive sawgrass
pond or marsh extends from this place, twelve and a-half miles
south, to Chachi's Village, which is a mile and a half west of Lake
Worth. Lagoons of deep water, covered with spatterdocks, are here
and there to be met with. In many places canoes have to be pushed
and hauled, but at others the water expands into grassy lakes, a
quarter of a mile in extent, and generally from one to two miles
apart. To the east can be seen a growth of spruce with some pines,
and to the west a line of cypress bordering the pine barren back
of it. Capt. Wade's command were two days in going from Fort
Jupiter to Chachi's Village. The site of this is on a pretty island,
bounded on the northband east by a deep clear pond half a mile
wide, and between a mile and a-half and two miles long. On the west
and south it is surrounded by the grassy lake. The trail to Lake
Worth leads, a third of a mile, to a small pond a quarter of mile
across, on the opposite side of which is the haulover. Westward,
a small trail runs from the village to the swamp bordering the Ever-
glades, the eastern boundary of the former being about seven miles
distant. Capt. Wade's command examined this trail at a time when
the water was rather low and did not attempt to take the canoes
over, as it would have been necessary to haul them a mile and a-half
over perfectly dry and rather rough ground. There were indications
that it had been frequently traversed in boats during high water.
The grassy lake was followed by the exploring party two miles and
a half to the north-west. For the last quarter of a mile the water
was but a few inches deep. A dry pine barren, more than a mile
across, through which runs the wagon-road from Fort Jupiter to
TEQ U ST A
Fort Lauderdale, forms the boundary of the Lake. Beyond this is a
small pond, and an eighth of a mile further a string of them, deep
enough to paddle in, and generally not more than forty feet apart. At
the end of half a mile the water again overspreads the surface of
the ground to the depth of two feet; dotted with small islands of
cypress and pine.
"Leaving Chachi's Village, and travelling six miles a little east
of south through the grassy lake, where the water continues about
two feet in depth, the pine barren is again encountered at a point
where the lake makes into it for a short distance. Turning to the
west, at the end of a mile of alternate water and dry land, a series
of ponds is arrived at. When the water is high, canoes can cross to
the Everglades at this place without difficulty."
Chachi, or Chai Chi, or Chai, or Chi, under an assortment of names,
became a scout for the army. Lieul. Com. John T. McLaughlin of the navy
commanding an expedition in the Everglades, says, in a report Dated De-
cember 26, -
"I . shall send a part) ilto the Mangrove lake, near Key
Biscayne, with which Chai professes to be acquainted. . Chai is
now my only guide. His brother, taken by Captain Wade, is an
excellent one, and could be induced to volunteer with Chai."
It could have been on one or another of these more or less aquatic
expeditions that Chi's name was given to "Chi's Cut" that runs into the lower
end of "Key Biscayne Bay."
When the war ended, Chai-chee did not return to his old haunts on
Lake Worth, but settled across the state in the Manatee region, where we
find reference to him in Lillie B. McDuffee's fascinating story of early days
in that region, "The Lures of Manatee", a new edition of which is now
"Among the Indians mentioned by the Rev. E. F. Gates, as
showing a marked friendliness towards the settlers, were old Chi-ee
and his squaw, Polly. Chi-ee had been a famous chieftain but at
this time was in exile from the Seminoles because of the help he
rendered the white soldiers in capturing his brother tribesmen....
Contrary to the usual laconic mood of the Indian, Chi-ee as he
grew better acquainted, became loquacious and through the Span-
iard Manuel, who understood the I ldian language, he related many
legends of his people which had been handed down from one genera-
tion to another."
But Chai-chee's aid to the enemy was not to be forgiven, and a procla-
mation was published in 1852 by Governor Thomas Brown as follows:
"State of Florida:
"To all to whom these presents shall come, Greetings -
"Whereas it has been presented to me by a petition of a num-
ber of the citizens of the county of Hillsborough that a certain
Indian of the tribe of the Seminoles now in Florida by the name
of Chi and his wife have been ou lawed by their tribe for the offense
of acting as a guide to the United States troops during the period of
Indian hostilities in Florida and that the faith of the general gov-
ernment has been pledged for the protection of the said Chi and his
wife. Now know Ye that the faith of the state of Florida is hereby
extended for the protection of the said Chi and his wife granting to
them the privilege of remaining in the state and it is hereby required
of all good citizens to protect the same Chi and his wife and to see
that they are not delivered to their tribe or sent beyond the limits of
the state except by and with their own free will and consent. Witness
my hand and the great seal of the state of Florida which I have
caused to be affixed hereto. Done at the Capitol in Tallahassee this
twelfth day of October A. D. 18-52.
(signed) Thomas Brown Governor."
December 19, 1955, a party of Tsurveyers commanded by Lieutenant
George L. Hartsuff of the army, wanrtonly destroyed the prized garden of
Billy Bowlegs, the acting chief of all the Seminoles remaining in Florida, and
met his angry protests with horseplay. He called the Seminoles again on
the war path and the next day wiped out the camp of the surveyers, killing
two and wounding Hartsuff.7 The army was again activated, troops poured
into Florida, and expeditions of the regular army and Florida volunteers
penetrated Indian country with Indian guides including Chai. But Chai
did not survive this war. He met a tragic end, but it was fifty years before
his epitaph was written.
SRay B. Seley, Jr. "Lieutenant Hartsuff and the Banana Plants", Tequesta XXIII
A young lieutenant, Alex S. Webb, graduated from West Point in June,
1855, and was immediately assigned to the Second Artillery and to duty in
Florida. Fifty years later, as a Brevet Major General, retired, he dug up
his journal of those days and wrote an article, "Campaigning in Florida in
1855." It was published in the Journal of Military Service Institute. On June
6, 1856, he found the following entry -
"I forgot to mention the death of Corporal Manning of my
company, of Chi, the Indian, .... Chi committed suicide. He evi-
denty felt that he was neither Indian or white, and got himself out
of the world to avoid meeting parties of Indian scouts."
Thus Chia-chee, Cha-chi, or Chi, the first resident of the Palm Beaches
we know by name, came to a violent end by his own hand. But Old Polly,
his wife, remained to be immortalized by Canova.B The famous Captain
Jacob Mickler came in with a bunch of Indians he had captured and, "after
securing a receipt for the Indians, . was furnished with a guide, an old
Spaniard, named Phillipi, and an Indian squaw, called Polly, a former
wife of Chi-ee, a famous Seminole chief." Canova was of the party, which
was to cross the watery waste of the Everglades.
"Polly, who was to act as our guide, gave her directions to
Phillippi, who interpreted them to us in English. She had crossed
the Everglades eighteen years before, and yet she knew the way as
if she had made the trip a hundred times. No mariner's compass
could have guided us across this trackless waste with more precision
than this hideous old hag."
"The weary, toiling soldiers became discouraged. . They
at last openly declared that Polly was misleading them. . The
next day Miami was in sight."
"After travelling two miles we came to a spot where Polly
commenced an excited discussion in Seminole, with Phillippi. That
old worthy said that Polly pronounced the little rivulet at our feet
to be the head of the Miami river. Polly piped out in her shrill,
s Andrew P. Canova, Life and Adventure in South Florida (Tampa, 1906).
'Sookus-hecheck-opko! locasee; ojus!'
We all understood the word 'lokasee,' and permission was speedily
obtained to follow a bear which was running across from one island
to another. The chase was a short one; the bear took refuge on an
island and was soon surrounded and killed."
"That night we camped at the lower end of Biscayne Bay, and
the next day we passed through Upper and Lower Cards Sound,
into Barnes' Sound, and through Chi-ee's Cut-Off, into Saddler's
Bay. Chi-ee's Cut-off is where the waters of Barnes' Sound con-
nect with Saddler bay. The water was twenty-five feet deep, and
clear as it could be."
'We built a fire and soon had a mammoth chowder ready,
together with some cooter steak. Polly's eyes scintillated with sup-
pressed joy, but when she tasted the delicious mixture, her bossom
heaved, her lips parted, and lifting her withered hand toward
heaven, she ejaculated;
'Good too much!' "
Old soldiers never die they just misremember! F. M. C. Boggess was
one of these "old soldiers." In 1900 he published his memoirs under the
title, "A Veteran of Four Wars, A Record of Pioneer Life and Adventures
and Heretofore Unwritten History of the Florida Indian Wars." It was
published by the Champion Job Rooms, Arcadia, Fla., in 1900. This excerpt
marks his earlier years and has a half-familiar ring -
"The Indians knew how to travel through them (the Ever-
glades). In 1850 there was a boat company that went in the mouth
of New River. They had an old Spaniard and his Indian wife. His
name was Chico; his wife Polly Murphy. They got out of provisions
and were lost. They told Polly if she did not pilot them out they
intended to kill her. She became much frightened and began crying.
She took some dry leaves and crumbling them she laid them on the
water shielding them from the wind. All at once she cried out,
clapping her hands, telling them she knew where she was. They
went in the direction indicated by the leaves and entered Shark
This Page Blank in Original
A Short History of Liguus Collecting
with a List of Collectors 1744 to 1958
By RALPH H. HUMES
Of all the land snails found around the world, few excel the genus
Liguus in color, beauty of design and architectural perfection. These attrac-
tions have inspired hundreds of collectors to search for these beautifully col-
ored creatures since they were described by Miiller and others in the
eighteenth century-over 200 years ago.
The early discribers, Miller (1774), Montfort (1810), apparently did
no collecting, Peale and Say (1825), were naturalists as well as scientists.
They did not confine their activities to a single field but were interested in
the entire fauna and flora of every area they studied.
The classification of land mollusca had barely begun when Miiler began
his study of land shells. Nearly every unfamiliar shell he encountered was a
new species or genus waiting for someone to describe it. Imagine the thrill and
excitement these early collectors and scientists must have experienced on land-
ing upon a sandy beach of some unknown Florida Key and wandering into
a lush, cool hammock and there, for the first time, finding the multicolored,
conical, tree-climbing snails which we now call Liguus; glistening every-
where from the trunks and branches of trees!
One can imagine the thrill, the excitement of the hunt, which drives the
contemporary "snailer" from his bed at four o'clock in the morning to return
home hours after the sun has set. This thrill must certainly have inspired the
early collectors, too. Only the intense love of nature and the out-of-doors,
coupled with the excitement and anticipation of a rare "find" or the wonderful
fellowship experienced on a snailing trip could entice the snailer to endure
the hardships and risk the hazards which confronted him on every sailing
excursion. For what other reasons would men or women endure mosquitoes,
horseflies, deerflies, ticks, redbugs, bees, wasps, scorpions, centipedes, fire
ants, poison ivy and poisonwood, and subject themselves to the ever-present
dangers of poisonous snakes, potholes and alligators, the female of which
will charge with a bellow if one wanders too close to her nest.
Up to the turn of the present century, very little was known about
Florida tree snails, although Montfort, Peale and Say knew of Cuban Liguus,
as that island is fertile ground for all types of land mollusks, the home of
some 4,000 species of land snails. Early in the 1800's British sailors hunting
for fresh meat and water along the Florida Keys found Liguus. Some of the
specimens taken by these early collectors found their way into British Mu-
seums, where they are still on display.
Three men: Simpson, Pilsbry, and Clench, stand out as the giants of
authority on Florida's tree snails, Ligus fasciatus.
Charles Torrey Simpson, an all-around naturalist, collected his first
Liguus in 1882. Simpson wrote in Lower Florida Wilds, 1920, "Out of Doors
in Florida", "Florida Wild Life", "Ornamental Gardening on South Florida",
etc. Pilsbry called his Florida's first naturalist and the father of Florida
Liguus. Simpson described and named 19 color forms in the "Proceedings
of the U. S. National Museum", 1929, where he was an associate. With more
than 30 years in the field, acquiring a fine collection, he certainly knew a
great deal about them. The collection was given to the University of Miami
where some of his types may still be seen. This man of sturdy legs
walked the railroad tracks to Key West-180 miles-riding the train
only where there were no snail hammocks in sight. He also did much
hiking and collecting in Long Pine Key, not only for shells but plants
as well. Charles Mosier, well known naturalist, and John K. Small, the
famous botanist, were often his companions on collecting and explor-
In the days of the horse and the Model T Ford, Simpson rode
to Flamingo in a charcoal wagon intent on collecting shells. Instead, with the
help of an old negro charcoal burner who lived alone in the area, he brought
back a load of orchids and planted some on his trees along Biscayne Bay;
Dr. Henry A. Pilsbry's monograph on Liguus in "Land Mollusca of North
America", 1946, cites at least 16 forms he described. During his long tenure
at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Pilsbry was known as
RALPH H. HUMES
the Dean of American malacology. He began his work on Liguus about 1899,
and in 50 years amassed a collection of more than 20,000 specimens.
Dr. Pilsbry was my companion on several glade buggy trips. At each
stop, stretching out on the ground, he would rest. Some times fingering or
scratching for tiny shells on the surface of the ground, or dozing off for a
few seconds. It took only a few minutes and he was ready to go again which
seemed remarkable since, at the time, he was in his eighties.
Dr. William J. Clench, curator of mollusks at the Museum of Compar-
ative Zoology, Harvard, Cambridge, Mass., described some seven or more
Florida Liguus color forms as well as a good number of Cuban types. Dr.
Clench said he had 30,000 Liguus specimens to draw from for his "Reclassifi-
cation of Florida Liguus", 1939. Clench has been a student of Liguus for
many years and is the only living member of the big three.
He and his associates were the first to draw a map to scale of the Long
Pine Key area, beginning near the entrance of Everglades National Park.
W. S. Schevill drew the first walking map of Long Pine Key; Clench im-
proved on this map tremendously. Besides giving the hammocks numbers,
he was also the first to name these hammocks in honor of his associates, con-
temporaries and collectors of the time.
Dr. Frank Craighead, Ralph Humes, Richard Deckert, Archie Jones,
Captain C. C. von Paulsen and C. N. Grimshawe, along with others, continued
this practice, numbering and naming many more hammocks with the help of
aerial maps provided by the naturalists department of Everglades National
Park. Dr. Craighead has spent an enormous amount of time interpreting and
correcting these maps.
Charles Mosier was a fine naturalist and friend of Simpson. He collected
mostly in the Long Pine Key area. For a while he was superintendent of
Royal Palm State Park which is now a part of the Everglades National Park,
and lived there in the old Lodge. This wooden structure was a landmark for
years, and the meeting place of naturalists from all over the world. The dilapi-
dated old structure was finally torn down by the Park Service. Mosier had a
fine collection of Liguus and enjoyed giving many shells away. Eventually
the collection was offered for sale and can be seen at the Beal-Maltbe Museum,
Winter Park, Florida.
Another collector who has described color forms of Liguus is Henry
Frampton, owner of a biological supply house in Miami. Naming several
fine varieties, he had a few more in manuscript (names accepted and in
common use) which was published by Margaret Doe in Nature Magazine,
citing figures and plates with names. Since this complied with the rules of
nomenclature, she was inadvertently credited with naming these color forms:
gloriasylvatica, violafumosus, nebulosus and lucidovarius. Later Dr. Clench
straightened out the figures, numbering the plates and text to stop further
confusion as to authenticity.
Dr. deBoe named "L. f. solisocassis." The description was actually writ-
ten by Richard Deckert, an old-time herpetologist and fine shell collector.
Deckert also helped Pflueger describe his "L. F. doheryti" from Lower Mate-
cumbe Key. Ralph Humes authored "L. /. wintei", a color form found by
Erwin Winte, an Everglades National Park Ranger.
Frank Young, a professor at the University of Indiana, recently named
"L. f. von paulseni" in honor of Capt. C. C. Von Paulsen, U. S. Coast Guard
Ret., who found the new race on Middle Torch Key. Young also rediscovered
"Liguus fasciatus pictus" on Big Pine Key. This shell was thought to be
extinct since 1912, and was not found in the newer collections. Frank was
brought up in south Florida and has written many useful papers on Liguus.
He is also an authority on "Lig" localities.
J. N. Farnum was one of the first to collect in the interior of the lower
Everglades around Pinecrest, 50 miles west of Miami. Working out of state
road headquarters at 40 Mile Bend during construction of the Tamiami Trail,
he numbered his hammocks and drew a map of their locations as Dr. Clench
had done in the Long Pine Key area. He found many new forms which were
later named by Dr. Clench and Margaret F. Doe. The Museum of Comparative
Zoology at Harvard bought two fine collections from him.
The "Lig" country stretches from Pompano Beach across the state to
Marco and down to Key West. It is a large area divided into sections by
snailers and hunters. These geographical areas are abbreviated as follows:
C. P. "Central Plains", a new area seven miles south of the Loop Road, named
by Humes and Jones, it is the buffer area between (Pine Crest) and L.P.K.,
(Long Pine Key); L.P.K. located west of Florida City, now in the Everglades
National Park; and, C.C. for "Collier County". Other shell localities carry
RALPH H. HUMES
the descriptive names given them by the discoverer. Grimshawe named a
hammock north of the trail Meon for "My own", others were "Pants" ham-
mock, the "Iron Pot", "Bloodhound", "Horsefly", and so on.
The total number of hammocks in south Florida has never been counted
accurately. The estimate would probably run to almost a thousand. There
are about 400 within the boundaries of Everglades National Park. Fire and
storm have destroyed a large number of small hammocks.
Before the drainage canals were dug in the early 1900's, new hammocks
were not forming because the water table was higher which made the land
unsuitable for hammock growth. Dry areas of today are producing young
islands of growth which in time will become typical hammocks. There is
some danger of Australian pine and mellalucca taking over large sections
of the open glades.
Before the drainage of the Everglades, it was not uncommon for adven-
turers to start at the Mouth of Miami River using canoes or Indian dugouts,
poling to the headwaters, then across the glades to Ft. Myers, down to Cape
Sable and over Florida Bay to Biscayne Bay and back again to Miami. In
those days it was easy to collect shells along the perimeter of south Florida
by boat. The large hammock areas in the central Everglades were not known
before the Tamiami Trail was cut through the Everglades.
With the publication of Simpson's and Pilsbry's manuscripts, 1912-1920-
1929, amateur "Lig" collecting increased appreciably. A fair number had
been collecting before the 1926 hurricane. This storm destroyed some of the
shoreline hammocks along the keys, particularly Matecumbe, the home of
L. fasc., dohertyi. This shell has not been found since and lucky were the
collectors that had them in quantity for exchange later.
About this time, or soon after, the first snail club was formed. The col-
lectors met in a small building under the bridge which spans Miami River at
12th Avenue. There were about 15 members, all of whom were well ac-
quainted with the glades and shell localities. Any of these men could, by
glancing at a shell, recognize the locality or place of origin.
I don't know what the purpose of the club was unless to extract as
much information as possible from the newer members, as well as keeping
complete tab on what was being found. Remarks were often made calculated
to mislead the unsuspecting neophytes. Stories were tall, locations were never
divulged. So, as might be expected, members just dropped out, each keeping
his own secrets and collecting harder than ever. At the time of the '35 hurri-
cane, there were a good hundred collectors in the fields on weekends. The
field means most of the three lower counties in south Florida.
It was hard going in the days before the glade buggy and the airboat.
Some hikes into new areas meant overnight camping, or even longer. There
were times when a twenty mile circuit was walked in a day.
Then it was common practice to take a large number of shells, new col-
lectors in particular, while many others felt they needed large series from
each locality to have a good collection. Many hammocks were heavily stocked
with shells, so it was easier to bag them and sort out the culls at home.
In spite of the good fellowship among snailers, competitive collecting
has always been keen. This, of course, didn't help conservation a bit.
The Everglades west of Miami are flat and monotonous to most travelers.
To the hunter, fisherman, "snailers" and general out-of-doors people, it has
an special lure which continues to grow on one. There are seasons when the
glades are dust dry and times when the area is covered with water as far as
the eye can see. It also can be very hot on bright days and cool to cold at
night. The white puffy clouds, against a deep blue sky, seem to be just
overhead. Surrounded by air, water and grass, the hammocks in the distance
appear dark and inviting because these hammocks are the home of the lowly
Liguus bearing hammocks are found in the Caribbean pine forest, the
open glades, along the Cypress strands and the dune areas of the shores.
Wherever one comes upon a new hammock, the urge to prospect it for some-
thing new in shells or plant life is always exciting.
What snailer doesn't remember Mac's Place at 40 Mile Bend on the
trail and the cold beer after a hard day collecting. I can remember drinking
two cans and will swear it never passed my throat; I was so dehydrated. Mac's
Place was the meeting place of the hunters, froggers, fishermen and "glade
rats" in general which, of course, includes the snailers. Some lively and
RALPH H. HUMES
interesting discussions were always going on. Shell talk was sure to be one
topic of the day and many a hot discussion followed. Jokingly, it became
known as the liars' club. I remember old Mr. Ebbitts, who started late as a
collector, coming into Mac's more than one weekend with a handful of
fine Liguus and not one of the more experienced collectors would tell him
what he had or where he had been, although each knew the exact shell and
where he collected it. Old Mr. Ebbitts didn't mind, he simply said, "I'll find
out for myself, eventually."
Much misinformation was practiced at Mac's. Snailers are known to be
straight-faced liars and this was the place to learn-from professionals. Most
of the misleading information was in fun, however, and not intended to be
vicious, unless you objected wasting the day looking for the phantom
Collecting was at its peak just before World War II. Many new ham-
mocks were found. At the height of collecting there were often 25 or more
collectors in Pinecrest area alone, over one weekend, and their take must
have been at least 1,000 shells. This intensive collecting continued after the
war and did not slow down much until about 1950. Fires were prevalent
during the heyday and many ugly things were attributed to the collectors.
Much of this was not deserved. Hunters contributed their share of fires along
with the campers and fishermen. We were making a survey of the Park in
a glade buggy with the ranger and our glade buggy's exhaust started a glade
fire that lasted for three days. Even after the fires, if any "Ligs" were left
they often came back prettier and larger than before. A burned hammock
usually lets in more light and air, which produces more food so the fewer
shells thrive better.
At the first word of the formation of an Everglades National Park the
rush for shells was on. Many hammocks were collected hard, anticipating
the time when the area would be closed to all collecting.
Liguus were sold among collectors and dealers all over the Miami area
and elsewhere. There was a fad on Liguus necklaces, and it was not uncom-
mon to see them around the necks of fashionably dressed ladies on the streets
By this time rare and good forms were becoming scarce. Many collectors
found it necessary to re-plant good types from the original hammocks to
locations unknown to other snailers. This practice made collecting very
fascinating. Rare color forms popped up everywhere. Roadside trees were
"planted", backyards and even along the streets of Miami. It wasn't neces-
sary to go out into the field. Sometimes, just checking your neighbor's grape-
fruit tree was rewarding. You can imagine the transplanter often lost his
prize shells to others.
In 1942 the first new race of Liguus to be found in a long time was
discovered by William Osment on Howe Key. Liguus fasciatus osmenti Clench.
Osment has always been an avid collector. You name the trip and kind and
he is ready. I have collected with him in Cuba and in the Everglades for
both plants and shells. In Cuba we found Epidendrum phoenicun which we
promptly named the chocolate orchid because of the scent. The species was
known before but not in many collections; the common name is still the
I was with Osment and his family on the second trip to Howe or House
Key. It was loaded with rattlesnakes. I think we killed seven on that trip. I
have never seen snakes more abundant than at Howe Key. Many years be-
fore, on the high ground of Madeira Bay, there were snake stories beyond
belief. One old-timer declares there was a boa 23 feet long and the guardian
of Madeira Bay.
In 1954 (published date) Erwin Winte found a new color form in the
Long Pine Key area-Liguus fasciatus winter Humes. Winte has been a long
time conservation officer. He has done much on the preservation of Liguus.
You will read more about him later.
Captain Von Paulsen surprised the collecting clan with the latest find. He
discovered Liguus fasciatus von paulseni Young, on Middle Torch Key. Von
Paulsen, a Coast Guard Captain and aviator, was the first to fly the National
Park Service over the Everglades to determine possible boundaries for the
Everglades National Park. He assisted Dan Beard, first superintendent, and
many other notables toward this end. He is still a collector and will take
anything he sees; even now, in his seventies. Both of us being of World War I
vintage, we have had many a muscle cramp together. I have known times
when his vocal chords would not respond to speech from sheer exhaustion;
I was there in the same condition.
Collecting now by the old-timers that are still living and able to do so,
is limited to just a few shells at a time and only matched forms. A locality
RALPH H. HUMES
collection which used to be the vogue is now considered unimportant. I sup-
pose the new batch of young collectors are trying to represent as many locali-
ties as possible doing exactly as we did as beginners, taking every shell
that we could find.
The end of collecting Liguus is not over by a long shot! There are
many hammock areas where shells can still be found in abundance.
Erwin Winte was the first, to my knowledge, to transplant or "farm out"
Liguus successfully. Proving that one could cross two distinct forms and
make a hybrid. Others have been successful, too. Archie Jones raised a rare
form, splendidus, from "eggs" to "3-year-olds" in his back yard. He brought
food in on branches several times each week.
On the strength of these experiences, Jones, Winte, Von Paulsen and I,
formulated the idea of taking rare forms we had "hidden out" and transferring
them to the Everglades National Park, to protect the species from extinction.
With the understanding help of Dan Beard, the Park's first superintendent,
permission was granted by the Park Service. Time will prove this to be a
very wise decision on their part. Most of the color forms will be preserved
for posterity to study and admire. These four men that are now collaborating
on the project have all had twenty-five years experience in the field, and
I doubt if anyone now living knows more about the habits and needs of these
mollusks. Only shells which were not native to the Park were brought in.
Nearly all of the fine and rare races, more than 30, are now doing well and
are not lost to science.
Expanding populations along both east and west coasts of Florida may
have pushed the Seminoles deep into the Everglades, but it obliterated many
Liguus localities for building sites especially in Dade and Broward Counties.
It is more than likely the time will come when no hammock will be left with
enough trees to support a small colony of Liguus.
The Everglades National Park is the last refuge for shells and many
rare forms of plant life.
Seminoles seem to like these shells as there are nearly always some
living around the Indian Camp hammocks which suggests that they might
have brought them in, but not likely for food purposes as the animal has a
very bitter taste. If "Ligs" were symbolic to the Indians, it is strange none
were ever found in the graves of either the Caloosea, Tequesta or the Semi-
noles. Yet each of these tribes were well acquainted with marine shells and
used them for many purposes, according to Dr. John M. Goggin, late head
of the Anthropology Department of the University of Florida.
Along with this fascinating hobby, I have enjoyed years of wonderful
companionship. I have eaten turkey soup made by old Captain Tony's squaw
and Seminole soup is the worst combination of ingredients. But no matter
what the ingredients were, it always tasted like gar fish or skunk. Many times
we have had trouble along the snailer's trail, a twisted ankle, a broken toe, or
our glade buggy stuck in a mud hole. These and many other experiences
have been the fate of snailers and other gladers. Once I ran into a cactus.
It stuck an inch-long thorn under my kneecap, but there was my companion
to help carry me out. Another time a large centipede stung me on the fore-
arm. Believe me, this was no fun! I was in pain for 17 hours and nothing
could be done about it.
Enduring friendships are formed while following an obscure Indian
trail in the dark; riding the waves in a small boat; crossing an angry bay;
the long ride home at night from the Lower Keys after a fruitless day; or,
lying flat on our bellies in the sawgrass to avoid lightning in a thunderstorm.
These and many other experiences one cherished for a lifetime. I believe
all "snailers" are my friends, and I am proud to mention a few I have made
over the years: Archie Jones, Erwin Winte, Capt. Von Paulsen, Roy Fields,
Capt. Norman White, the McGinty Brothers, William Osment, C. N. Grim-
shawe and Dan Beard, and the entire Park personnel along with many others.
The following list of over 200 persons includes most of the known
collectors. The dates indicate approximate beginning of collecting. These
scientists and amateurs have contributed all we know today about the tree
snail-Liguus fasciatus. No doubt there are more collectors not accounted for
here. It would seem an impossible task to list them all, even with the help of
many old-timers, as well as the excellent assistance of Dr. W. J. Clench. My
apologies to those unintentionally left out. The whole history of shell collect-
ing has been far from entirely selfish. Many of these people have shared or
given collections to public schools, private institutions and museums. My
own collections may be seen intact at the Everglades National Park Museum.
RALPH H. HUMES
In spite of the tremendous number of shells taken over such a long
time and by so many people, there are still quantities of "Ligs" in various
If you want to be a "snailer" the equipment is simple, and so are you!
All that is required is a long pole with a cup on the small end, a machete to
cut your way in and out of the underbrush and sawgrass, and a very small
collecting bag. And, if you're stupid enough to tramp mud and water for
as much as eight to ten miles a day, you're welcome to try it. I have had it!
On second thought, who wants to go next Sunday?
REFERENCES TO LIGUUS COLLECTING
Clench, W. J. 1929, "Some New Liguus from the Florida Everglades. Nautilus 43: 18-21.
Clench, W. J. 1931, "Ligging in the Everglades of Florida." Nautilus 45:10-15.
Clench, W. J. and G. B. Fairchild 1939, "The Classification of Florida Liguus." Proceed-
ings New England Zoological Club 17:77-86.
Clench, W. J. 1946, "A Catalogue of the Genus Liguus with a Description of a New
Subgenus," Occasional Papers on Mollusks, Museum Comparative Zoology 1:117-128.
Pilsbry, H. A. 1899, Manual of Conchology (2) 12:160-175.
Pilsbry, H. A. 1912, "A Study of the Variation and Zoogeography of Liguus in Florida."
Journal Academy Natural Sciences, Philadelphia (2) 15:429-471, pl. 37-40.
Pilsbry, H. A. 1946, "Land Mollusca of North America." Academy Natural Sciences,
Philadelphia, Monographs No. 3, 2:pt. 1, pp. 37-102.
Simpson, C. T. 1920, In Lower Florida Wilds, (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York).
Frontispiece and pp. 335-352.
Simpson, C. T. 1929, "The Florida Tree Snails of the Genus Liguus." Proceedings,
United States National Museum 73:art. 20, pp. 1-44, pl. 1-4.
Young, F. N., 1951, "Vanishing and Extinct Colonies of Tree Snails, Liguus fasciatus,
in the Vicinity of Miami, Florida." Occasional Papers, Museum of Zoology, Univer-
sity of Michigan No. 531, pp. 1-21.
Young, F. N., 1958, "Extinct or near Extinct Colonies of Tree Snails, Liguus fasciatus, in
Eastern Broward and Northern Dade Counties, Florida." Occasional Papers, Museum
of Zoology, University of Michigan No. 595, pp. 1-20.
Young, F. N., 1959, "A Preliminary List of the Colonies of Tree Snails, Liguus fasciatus,
in the Area of Dade County, Florida, south and west of Miami." Sterkiana 1:1-8.
Young, F. N. 1960, "Color Pattern Variation Among Snails of the Genus Liguns on the
Florida Keys." Bulletin Biological Sciences, Florida State Museum, 5:259-266.
The names of many persons listed here are incomplete. We decided it better to
publish them in this form rather than to omit them. More complete names and additional
names may be possible in a 1966 supplement.
LIST OF LIGUUS COLLECTORS OR WRITERS
Tucker Abbott: Curator Mollusks. Academy Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pa.
Dr. C. G. Aguayo: University of Havana: former Curator Mollusks, now University of
Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Charles Alien, St. Petersburg, Fla.
A. F. Archer: Professor, Tift College, Forsyth, Georgia
James Arias: Miami fireman, 1935
R. Atmus: manager factory, Springfield, Massachusetts
F. C. Baker: former Curator Mollusks, University of Illinois
Dr. H. B. Baker: Associate of Pilsbry Academy Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
Dr. Blenn Bales: Circleville, Ohio; Marine shells mostly
Dr. Thomas Barbour: former Director Museum, Harvard MCZ
Dr. Barge: unknown
D. W. Barnes: early conchologist of Ohio
Les Barrett: Engineer-Architect, Miami, Florida, 1930
John Bartlett: Malachologist, 1844
Dr. Paul Bartsch: former Curator of Mollusks, U. S. National Museum
Fred M. Bayer: Asst. Curator, University of Miami
Dr. J. H. Beal: Beal-Maltbie Museum, Winter Park, Florida
Adele Koto BedelI: mostly marines, Beloit, Wis., 1937
Dr. J. C. Bequaert: Tropical Medical Snails, formerly of Harvard now of University of
Arizona. Author of shell manuscripts.
Dr. P. Bermudez: Conchologist, Cuba
W. G. Binney: early collector, 1844 conchologist
A. D. Blalock: Big Pine Key, Florida
W. F. Blanton: County Judge, Miami, Florida
Feliz Braddock: Plaster-contractor, hunter, Miami, Florida
Mary Brickell: sold Brickell hammock shells to tourists at 5c each
W. S. Brooks: Ornithologist, Orleans, Mass. Spent the month of March 1920 collecting
the lower Florida Keys; Cape Sable; Flamingo and Chocoloskee for Ligaus for the
Museum of Comparative Zoology
Buck Buckshorn: Tool & Diemaker, Miami, Florida
Luther Bunell, Miami, Florida
C. M. B. Cadwalader: Former Director, Academy Natural Science, Philadelphia, Pa.
R. E. Call: school teacher-book on shells, Indiana
Ed Campbell: iron worker, Miami, Florida
Campbell: Florida Power & Light Co.
J. Christensen: Lawyer, Miami, Florida
F. Christie: Musician
Geo. H. Clapp: collected with Simpson. Aluminum Co., Pittsburgh
W. F. Clapp: former Curator of Mollusks, M.C.Z.
W. J. Clench: Curator Molluks, M.C.Z.
H. V. Coffee: Orange State Oil Co., Miami, Florida
W. D. Collier of Collier County, Florida: planted Ligs. 1873
RALPH H. HUMES
T. A. Conrad: geologist Academy Natural Science, Philadelphia about 1950
Wm. Crouch: Accountant, Miami, Florida
A. C. Currier: amateur collector, Michigan author, michigan shells
Cecil Curry: Lawyer-Judge, Miami, Florida
W. H. Dall: former Curator Mollusks U. S. National Museum
Davis: fireman, Miami
Mr. and Mrs. Deberg: traveling salesman, Miami, Florida
Dr. and Mrs. Otto DeBoe: author, Miami, Fla.
Dr. W. F. DeCamp: Civil War surgeon, Grand Rapids, Michigan
R. F. Deckert: 1st Liguus collector at Pinecrest region with Farnum, Herpetologist,
Jim Dill: Ex-Lt., U. S. Army, hermit of Pinecrest
Margaret Doe: author, described several liguus unintentionally in Nature Magazine
Ted Dranga: dealer-collector from Hawaii and Miami
S. C. Ebbets: newsman, Miami, Florida
D. L. Emery: collector, St. Petersburg, Florida
W. J. Eyerdam: collector for Smithsonian and Harvard Museums
Dr. G. B. Fairchild: Entomologist, Panama
J. N. Farnum: naturalist, early Pinecrest days
E. G. Feria: Cuba
Roy Fields: orchid grower, Miami, Florida
John Finlay: Wilmington, Delaware; mostly marines
Florence Forsyth: Lepidoprist, Florida City, Florida
R. W. Foster: Research Associate, M.C.Z.
Dr. H. Fox, Sr.: M. D., Miami, Florida
Dr. Harold Fox: Father and son collectors
Henry Frampton: Biological supply and dealer, author of several color forms of Liguus,
Fred Fuchs, Sr.: Homestead, Florida
Fred Fuchs: Postmaster, orchid grower, Homestead, Florida
Theo. Gill: worked mainly on fish U. S. National Museum
Howard Gilmore: Eastman Kodak, Massachusetts
J. A. Goggin: D.D.S., Miami, Florida
Dr. J. M. Goggin: Anthropologist, University of Florida
Calvin Goodrich: former curator Museum University Michigan
Dr. A. A. Gould: author Shells of Massachusetts
C. N. Grimshawe: Investigator for City of Miami, Civil Engineer, Miami, Florida, large
Dr. Paul Guitart: formerly Director of the Kate Plumer Bryon Memorial School in
Guines, Cuba, now living in Indiana
F. K. Hadley: dealer, Newton, Mass.
Layman Hardy: science teacher, Miami, Florida
Albert Hay: Supt. Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
Alfred Hay: Pogy.
Henry Hemphill: Conchologist, 1882
H. H. Henderson: explorer-collector
J. B. Henderson: U. S. National Museum
Dr. L. G. Hertlein: Curator of Mollusks, California Academy Science
Jack Hickey: postal employee, Miami, Florida
W. Hodges: Massachusetts collector
Carl Hughes: U. S. Coast Guard, Miami, Florida
H. Hull: citrus grower, Miami, Florida
R. H. Humes: sculptor, 1933, collaborator Everglades National Park. Donated his col-
lection to E. N. P.
A. L. Humphries: U. S. Dept. of Agriculture Entomologist
Eleanor Hutchinson: amateur collector, Miami, Florida
Wm. H. Hutchings: and daughter
R. W. Jackson: farmer, Cambridge, Maryland
Paul Jester: Bank clerk, Miami, Florida
Archie Jones: Drug company executive, Miami, Florida. Collaborator E.N.P. Large
Kenny Jones: son of Archie, started at eight years of age
C. W. Johnson: former Curator Mollusks Boston Society Natural History
Les Karcher: U. S. Coast Guard, Miami, Florida. Chief Boatswain Mate
Dr. A. H. Kasper: Miami, Florida
G. B. Kesson: planted shells on Marco Island, 1907
Mrs. Kitchings: Sugar Loaf Key
George Klager: contractor, Miami, Florida
A. S. Koto: Manufacturer, Beloit, Wisconsin
Phillip Kyne: Miami, Florida
Charles Lang: tinsmith, Miami, Florida
Isaac Lea: patron Academy Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pa.
N. W. Lermond: Naturalist, Maine. Had museum at Thomaston
Newt. Lewis: Game Warden, Miami, Florida
Lincoln: Dealer, West Floirda
Linne, 1758: early scientist
Lippincott, Jr.: publisher
Livingston: Civil Engineer, early collector, Homestead, Florida
G. A. Lohr: Aviator, Miami, Florida
Lossman, 1900: Lossman Key
Dr. and Mrs. Y. C. Lott: Naturalist, orchid grower
H. N. Lowe: author, San Diego, California
Marion Lowe: Key West, also plant collector
W. B. Marshall: former assistant Curator U. S. National Museum
Harold Martin: Salesman, Miami, Florida, 1938
Judy H. Mason: Curator Rollins College Museum (Huggins)
Alicia Masnata, Miami, Florida: Mostly Cuban shells
Robert N. Masters: accountant, Miami, Florida
Doug, Matthew: well driller and plumber, Miami, Florida
Mrs. B. McClendon, florist
Paul McGinty: Boynton Beach, Florida, brother of Tom
Tom McKinty: general collector, author of shell literature and collaborator with Pilsbry
on his monograph
Geo. McLaughlin: fireman, Miami, Florida
Chester Melville, Chestnut Hill, Mass.: general collection
Dr. Mendel, Jr.: Miami, Florida
Dr. Edwin Mercer: collected with Simpson
RALPH H. HUMES 81
Phil. Modzger: Pharmacist, Marathon Key Vaca
Denysde Montford: conchologist, 1810
Roy Montgomery: Handcrafts, Miami, Florida, dealer
Wayne Montgomery: Builder, Miami, Florida
C. B. Moore: explorer, archaeologist, 1904
Earl Moore: Naturalist, Miami, Florida. Started collecting as a small boy.
Louise Moore: artist, Miami, Florida
Hebard Morgan: author, 1904
Charles Mosier: Superintendent, Royal Palm State Park, 1920
Ed. Moylan: realtor, Miami, Florida, large collection
Muller, 1744: early conchologist
John Olsen: Geologist, Miami, Florida
Wm. Osment: Hollywood, Florida, found L. fasciatus osmenti Clench on Lower Keys.
Osteen: (Supt. Royal Palm State Park?) Homesteader
Ralskey Owens: bookkeeper, Miami, Florida
T. Peale: conchologist, early collector, 1825
L. Pequeno: dealer in Cuba
Ed. Peterson: game warden, Miami, Florida
Pfeiffer: conchologist, 1850
A. Pfiueger: taxidermist, Miami, Florida
John Pflueger: taxidermist, Miami, Florida
Binky Pilsbry: daughter of H. A.
H. A. Pilsbry: former Curator Academy of Natural Science, author shell books, 1907
Don Poppenhager: hunter, explorer, Miami, Florida
John Porter: explorer, collector, Miami, Florida
Whitie Porter: explorer, collector, Miami, Florida
A. W. B. Powell: Director Auckland Museum, N. Z.
C. S. Rafinseque: early naturalist
V. Raul: dealer, Key West
J. S. Raybon: explorer, machologist, 1904
A. G. Reeve: conchologist, early collector
H. A. Rehder: Curator U. S. National Museum Mollusks
P. S. Remington: professor mathematics, St. Louis, Mo.
H. Rhodes: State Conservation Officer, Miami, Florida
Thomas Say: Academy Natural Science, early writer on Mollusks
Herb Schaller: Miami City plumbing inspector
Jack Schmidt: dealer, Lake Worth, Florida
Dr. Leanne Schwengle, Philadelphia, Pa.: large general collection
Dr. H. A. Seeds: Miami, Florida orchid grower
Shanor: U. S. Department of Agriculture
W. F. Shay: early collector
C. T. Simpson: former Assoc. Curator U. S. National Museum, author Florida books.
Collected first "Lig" 1882
Harold Skinner: Miami, Florida
H. H. Smith: Curator Mollusks, University Alabama
Maxwell Smith: author shell books, Lake Worth, Florida. Large general collection now
in the University of Florida Museum
Wm. Sperline: fisherman, Florida
Carl Squires: Civil Engineer, Dade County Maps, Miami, Florida. Large collection
Jim Stanley: photographer, Miami, Florida
E. Stiles: Miami, Florida
Dr. Strong: 1822
Mrs. C. Susong: wife of druggist, Miami, Florida, fair collection
N. Swainson, 1822
Oscar Swed: taxidermist, Miami, Florida. Brought in first L. fasc. gloriasylvatic's from
Pinecrest No. 31
Margaret Tervas: author
J. W. Thomas: aviator, Miami, Florida
Chester Thompson: dealer, Key West, Florida
L. A. Thurston: early explorer
J. R. Le B. Tomlin: largest private collection shells, England
Dr. C. de La Torre: President, University of Havana, author shell books
G. W. Tryon: former Curator Mollusks, Academy Natural Science, Phila., Pa.
Valenciennes: early conchologist, Paris, France
Henry Van der Schalie: Professor, University of Michigan
T. Van Hyning: former Curator Florida State Museum
Louise M. Vaughn; Miami License Department
E. Von Martens: Former Curator of Mollusks, Berlin, Germany
C. C. Von Paulsen: Capt., U.S.C.G., Miami, Florida, found form L. fasc. von paulseni
Geo. Waldeck: veterinarian, Miami, Florida
A. Walrath: naturalist
A. R. Walrath: Ichthyologist, N. Y.
Charles Walton: Australia
Monroe Walton: collector, Electrical Contractor, Glendale, California
J. H. Weaver: merchant, Miami, Florida
W. F. Webb: dealer, Tampa, Florida, author book molluska
J. A. Weber: ornithologist, author shell material
Welch: early collector Solidad, Cuba
Welch: brother of above, Miami, Florida
A. J. Wetherby: collected in Cuba, early
Williams, Miami, Florida
Walter Williamson: collected with Grimshawe, later lost exploring the Amazon
N. J. Winkelman: naturalist, Miami, Florida, electrical contractor
Paul Winkelman: orchid grower, Miami, Florida
Rev. Winkley: New England Collector
Mina Winslow: former Curator Mollusks University of Michigan
Erwin Winte: Everglades National Park Ranger, Re-"wintei", Miami, Florida
Charles Wright: early exploring in Cuba
Frank Young: professor University of Indiana, author of many papers on Liguus and
"Lig. fasc. von paulseni". His aid has been extremely valuable to the E. N. P.
project on shells.
Three Early Spanish Tampa Bay Maps
By CHARLES W. ARNADE*
One of the most difficult chapters of Florida history is historical car-
tography of Florida or the story of the mapping of all or parts of Florida.
As a matter of fact, most trained historians, anthropologists or archaeologists
of the Florida scene gladly shy away when it comes to old Florida maps. This
is not because old maps from the Spanish periods and the English interlude
are scarce; they are plentiful. After spending a whole month working full-
time with Florida maps I came to the conclusion that it is easy to accumulate
as many as five hundred or more different maps made during the two Spanish
and the English periods. These maps are not only Spanish or English charts
but there are also many in French, especially in French archives. The early
sixteenth century maps came mostly from Portugal, Italy and even Germany.
In the early seventeenth century one must also look to the great Dutch map
makers who produced gorgeous atlases. We have an abundance of maps,
charts, diagrams, etc. dealing with Florida. But the "historico-cartographical
research" (to use the expression of the great explorer and cartographer Adolf
Erik Nordenskiold) of Florida has been neglected. There is no doubt that the
Atlas of Florida recently published by the University of Florida Press is of
value but it is more for the layman and its historical value is only a brief
summary. It never intended to be anything else. After all, history is only
one of over twenty parts and it is more "a pictorial presentation of Florida's
present" than the past. The atlas is of no value for important and detailed
research in historical cartography of Florida.
The difficulty lies in the dispersion of sources-all over the world-of
the key Florida depositories. The libraries on the state university campuses,
*This Florida map research was undertaken thanks to a summer grant
in August, 1963 from the William Clements Library of the University of
Michigan at Ann Arbor. This grant was financed by the Lilly Endowment
Foundation. 1 wish to express my thanks to the Clements Library and the
Lilly Foundation for their generous support. No footnotes have been provided
as the reader can easily detect the sources mentioned from the bibliography.
state libraries in Tallahassee, places in St. Augustine and private college
libraries all have copies of many maps, but they are thrown into folders or
drawers, or are lying in corners. Not a single Florida librarian is a true
map expert or has dedicated himself to a systematic study of Florida maps.
A few men, including Mr. David True from Miami, have undertaken map
studies but their writings are highly technical and generally argumentative-
trying to show that the other fellow was wrong in his interpretation of this
or that map, as exemplified by the Caraci article. We lack good descriptive
guides such as the one done in 1912 by the great cartographer Phillip Lee
Phillips when he annotated the Woodbury Lowery collection of American
maps which has a wealth of Florida charts. We need to classify the maps,
keep them in order, make them available, and we need to understand them
and then discuss them. None of this has been done and therefore the historian
and the anthropologist avoid this pile of confusion which in reality should
be one of his most important accessory tools.
I have a 140-page typed study of Sixteenth Century maps which I have
selected as important to the mapping of the peninsula of Florida. The second
part of the study gives biographical data of several cartographers whose
studies I consider important to Florida cartography and Florida history. And
in the third part I single out a man and his important cartographic contribu-
tion to the Florida scene. This is Dr. Louis C. Karpinski (1878-1956) who as
Professor of Mathematics of the University of Michigan was an avid student
and collector of early maps dealing with North America. He took many trips
to various European archives in search for maps. His collection of photostats
contains over seven hundred maps, mostly unpublished, known as the Kar-
pinski Collection. These photostats are available in a few university libraries,
but not in Florida (except a few isolated parts). I consulted the University
of Michigan Karpinski Collection located at the William Clements Library
of Rare Americana. I made a list of all maps dealing with Florida, exclusive
of Pensacola, and copied the Karpinski annotations and I hope to publish the
list in the third and last part of my above mentioned map study. My study
is not technical, but is an attempt to bring some order into a confusing pic-
ture. Its purpose is also to bring an awareness of the availability of maps
and their importance to Florida history. I have limited myself to the Six-
teenth century because much that has been written deals with this period and
it is highly technical and arguable, therefore of limited comprehension and
use as a secondary source. Then I decided to acquaint the Florida audience
CHARLES WI. ARNADE
with cartographers who have written about Florida, and finally I list the
Florida maps of the Karpinski Collection for further studies of the mapping
of Florida during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.
In doing my research at the delightful and respected William Clements
Library I ran into many interesting maps depicting various areas of Florida.
One thing became obvious in studying the maps of the first Spanish period.
The Spaniards mapped the Florida coast very well but they were deficient
with regard to the interior. On the coast certain areas were far better mapped
than others. The coastline from the Cape to Charleston was the best studied
and recorded. The tip of the peninsula-the roundout from about Miami to
Fort Myers-was the worst mapped. But the Keys were well studied and the
Karpinski Collection has some exciting maps of the Keys. The Gulf coast of
the panhandle was well mapped only with the permanent establishment of
Pensacola in the Eighteenth century.
The same is true of the Gulf coast of the peninsula and especially its
central section with Tampa Bay as the heart of this coastal area. The whole
history of Tampa Bay-when it was first discovered, its subsequent impor-
tance to the Spaniards and the inability of the Spaniards to properly record
the Bay-has not been studied. But I believe Spanish documentation is
abundantly available. One would have to go through the rich collection of
Spanish documents reaching far over one hundred thousand sheets of docu-
ments (most of them at the P. K. Yonge Library at the University of Florida)
to locate data on Tampa Bay. There is no doubt the Spanish knew the Bay.
But there also is no doubt in my mind that regardless of the Sixteenth century
landings at or nearby the Bay and its appearance, erroneous as it may be,
on Sixteenth century maps, exact knowledge of the Bay was always question-
able and indeed it was forgotten for long intervals. As a matter of fact,
there does not seem to exist-at least not located so far-a fairly detailed map
of the Tampa Bay area done during the Sixteenth or Seventeenth century.
Apparently the first maps we have come from the second half of the Eighteenth
century-all within a short period of time. Indeed three unrelated maps of
Tampa Bay have been located. Their dates are 1757, 1783, and the third
is undated, but must go back to the Spanish period. This means that the first
map dates back to the very end of the First Spanish Period and the 1783
map falls into the Second Spanish Period.
The 1757 map (no. 1) is probably the most detailed chart of the three
here described and we know its author and we have a definite date. The
adorned inscription says that it is a "chart of the great bay of Tampa, and
again [named] San Fernando." It states that this bay is located at Latitude
29 west of Tenerife. It says that this chart was drawn by the order of the
General Commander of the Royal naval forces in Habana, Bias de Barreda,
and the Inspector of the Naval Ministry in Habana, Lorenzo de Montalva.
The actual charting expedition of an unknown number of ships was under
the command of the Spanish "pilot", Francisco Maria Celi. I have not
searched for biographical data about Maria Cell, but I am sure that tedious
efforts in the documents would result in positive data such as found about
the man who composed the 1873 map. Looking for information on such a
man is a long affair of trial and error but often leads to interesting new facts.
This Tampa Bay map-to my mind the best of the Spanish maps-should
encourage more background information which would include a search for
This map is according to my experience the earliest detailed map of
Tampa Bay. The map was known to the late Clarence Simpson who in his
excellent Florida Place-Names of Indian Derivation under the entry writes
that "the first careful hydrographic survey of the present Tampa Bay appears
to have been made in 1787 by Don Francisco Maria Celi, pilot of the Royal
Spanish Navy, who although recognizing the then current name of Tampa,
renamed it San Fernando...." Neither Simpson nor Dr. Mark F. Boyd of
Tallahassee, who edited the Simpson compilation, tell where they located the
map or information of the map. But other historians who have written about
Tampa and the Southwest coast apparently were unaware of the vital Maria
Celi map. The able archaeologist, Ripley P. Bullen of the Florida State
Museum in Gainesville, told this author that he was aware of the maps
thanks to the courtesy of Dr. Boyd.
My copy comes from the Karpinski Collection and is listed number 193 in
the William Clements Library Karpinski classification. Karpinski found the
original in the Spanish Naval Museum in Madrid under the Classification
9a-2a,43 and the original is 66.4 to 47 centimeters in size. Karpinski does not
tell us if it is in color but because of its exquisite drawings I assume that it
must be in color. Some municipal, educational or cultural organization in
the Tampa Bay area should get an exact copy of this map and display it in
a conspicuous place to the public. I think it is a key document and it is an
CHARLES W. ARNADE 87
,- .- ( ,
- r 2
artistic work. I am not qualified to judge the geographical or nautical
accuracy of this map or the others. But I find the drawings and the names
highly interesting. First of all, the map shows only one native inhabited
area, where today's Highway 41 runs between Gibsonton and Ruskin. At
the same time, the map does not have the Alafia and Little Manatee Rivers
in this area.
The map shows no Indian settlements in what are today the urban areas
of Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The animals depicted do not
reveal any novelty. Interesting is the vegetation, and the huge tall palm
clusters certainly meant that there were large palms. The name given to
various spots and to the bays and rivers make a fascinating story. For exam-
ple, the map proves beyond any doubt that the word Pinellas comes from
the Spanish word pinal and today's Pinellas Point has the same name as in
the 1757 map where it is identified as Punta de Pinal de Ximenez. Most of
the other names mentioned in the map, with some exceptions as Boca Ziega,
have not survived. Only the Hillsborough and Palm Rivers were given names
by Maria Celi and they were called San Juliin Arriaga, and Franco re-
spectively. Old Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay were named Estero Grande
de Girior and Ensefiada de Aguirre. All the other names should entice interest-
ing comparisons with a modern map. I assume that the soundings and the
tide lines and the coastal configurations are of great interest to cartographic
and nautical experts. Naturally all kinds of implications and deductions can
be made in the game of names. There are today such names as Palma Ceia
and Terra Ceia and Terra Ceia Island. What does Ceia mean or from what
does it derive? Attorney William Goza of the Florida Historical Society in
conversation thinks that it is a derivation from the Spanish word "ceja"
which usually means eyebrow but can also mean projecting part or bridge.
This certainly makes much sense. But it can also be a derivative of Celi (the
pilot who chartered the Tampa Bay area in 1757) -the author of this map.
His name was given on this map to a small cape in Hillshorough Bay near
today's Davis Island.
There exists another version of the Celi map (no. 2) which has slight
variations in the content but not in the delineation. The inscription makes
it certain that this is the same Celi map first drawn in 1757. But the in-
scription on the upper right side of this map is somewhat different in the
wording and also spoiled in one margin by the adorning frame. This inscrip.
tion lacks a date but states that the vessel used by Celi was the "Xebex"
CHARLES W. ARNADE 89
"' t. 1 .
I'' ', *..
r i.. ,..
' r ..
.A R .
named San Francisco. A xebex is a small, three-master ship having an
overhanging bow and stern and both square and lateen sails. This inscription
also identifies a Lieutenant [ ? ] Xim6nez as the commander of the xebex San
Francisco. It is not known if this version (no. 2) or the other version which
has the date of the Celi expedition (no. 1) is the original. Apparently the
No. 2 map in the heavily adorned lower left scale (not adorned in the No. 1
map) has on the very edge a date which is so tiny that every effort with all
the modern means available has failed to make the date legible. The best guess
is 1763. Everyone consulted, including Dr. Bullen, seems to think that no. 2
is the reproduction and no. 1 the original. The no. 2 map lacks much of the
drawing of the animals and the vegetation. Only the scale box is more
adorned. This No. 2 version, which we think is the reproduction, is available.
It is shown in the book by Arthur P. Whitaker, Documents Relating to the
Commercial Policy of Spain in the Floridas, p. 156. Dr. Whitaker fails to
cite the date of the map and only identifies it as "Map of Tampa Bay
Our next map (no. 3) is far less detailed and is the undated map. We
have no record of an author. Two versions have been located-one with
English words and the other in Spanish. It obviously is a Spanish map which
was used during the English Period. I feel positive that the map was done in
the last decades of the First Spanish Period. This map comes from a series of
maps sketching the area from St. Augustine and Jacksonville through Gaines-
ville to Tampa Bay. These sectional maps are available in the English
Crown Collection of Maps of North America: Section Three, the originals
of which are in the Public Record Office in London, but have been made
available as photostats in a multivolume edition by Archer Butler Hulbert.
This collection is available in Florida in the library of the Florida State
University in Tallahassee. This Tampa Bay chart is plate 131 of Series III of
the Crown Collection and the FSU lists 1785 as the date. This to my mind is
erroneous. The related maps of the St. Augustine-Gainesville area have been
published by Dr. James C. Covington in his 1961 Seminole study. Covington
has the more neatly drawn English version. The original Spanish maps were
reproduced by me in my 1961 cattle study. But Covington reproduced the
Tampa Bay section in its English version. The map presented here (no. 3)
is the more detailed original Spanish version. Covington located his maps in
the legal claims of Messrs. Gordon and Fish and he was unaware of their
existence as originals in the Crown collection.
CHARLES W. ARNADE 91
No. 3 Undated Map (Original Spanish Version)
As one can see, the Spanish version has sounds in the Bay. The map is
quite crude and the configuration very primitive with hardly any names.
One can see that in the original version two points in the Bay are identified as
Los Trabajos and El Quemado (not on the English version.) The same names
in the same places are given on the 1757 map. I think that this map antedates
the 1757 map. It is also interesting to note that in the Spanish version the
name Zarazote is listed more or less where Sarasota is today. The English
version has the name copied as Zararote. This map has its value.
Maybe the third chart* (no. 4)-the one of 1783, the first year of the
second Spanish occupation-should not be included here, since the English
period produced excellent maps especially by such men as Romans and
Jeffreys. There is especially the often quoted Romans map of Tampa Bay of
1774 (no. 5). This is the one which all researchers know and which is con-
tinually cited when the history of Tampa Bay is discussed. Consequently
it is not described here as I was interested in presenting new maps with new
information. But I must say that all the three maps described here should
be compared with the English charts, especially the Romans Tampa Bay map.
It must also be said that both Romans and especially Andrew Ellicott in his
important journal published in 1802 (republished 1962), speak of a careful
survey done at a very early date-before Maria Cell-of Tampa Bay by
Captain Braddock. The vital Ellicott Journal first published in 1802 was
apparently unknown to Simpson. Ellicott wrote, "On the West side of East
Florida it affords two remarkable fine harbors: One is known by the name
of Hillsborough Bay (Bay Tampa [sic] or Spirito Santo). The latitude is
270 36 N. and the longitude 830 West from Greenwich. It is very spacious,
and will admit any vessel over the bar not drawing more than twenty-four
feet water. The first Englishman who explored, and gave an account of
this bay was a Capt. Braddock who commanded a privateer from Virginia
and cruised on the west coast of East Florida, in the years 1744 and 1745:
his survey is yet considered as good as any extant (p. 27)." No Braddock
map has been located-apparently the survey and map are lost. The Maria
Celi map still remains the earliest known map of Tampa.
The 1783 Spanish chart (no. 4) is the Tampa map of Jos6 de Evia which
I stated might not totally fit into our scheme because it belongs to the Second
Spanish Period. I located my copy in the Karpinski Collection and the
Clements Library classification is Map No. 164. Karpinski found the original
*See page 98
CHARLES W. ARNADE
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in the archives of the Spanish Ministry of War at Madrid. Evia had other
maps of great interest to Florida. This one (no. 4) is a chart of Tampa Bay.
It covers a much wider area than the Celi map. It remains for a trained
cartographer to determine which of these two maps has the most correct
measurements. In my inexpert opinion the Evia map has not been influenced
by Celi or Romans.
At the same time that I was working with Spanish maps Professor Jack
D. L. Holmes of the University of Alabama, Birmingham Center, and a
friend of mine was unearthing much data about Evia in Spain. He composed
an article entitled "Two Spanish Expeditions to Southwest Florida, 1783-1793"
which is the story of the Evia sailing to the Florida coast in 1783 and that of
another Spaniard, Vicente Folche y Juan in 1793. At my suggestion Dr.
Holmes submitted the article to Tequesta where it will see print in this issue.
The Folch report of Tampa Bay-a vital document-was published by Kin.
naird. Folch attached a map to the report which was not located by me and
no reference is made to the map by Kinnaird or Holmes. The Folch and
Braddock charts should be searched as they will add to and complete the
story of important maps of Tampa Bay.
The Evia map contains names that are marked with numbers in the
appropriate places. These names and their corresponding numbers are: 1)
Cape of the Pasaje; 2) Cape of the Cruz; 3) Aguada, watering station of the
Toneles; 4) Cape of the Aguada; 5) Ranch of Juaquin; 6) Cape of the
Sabalos; 7) Point of the Pinal; 8) The point of Piedra; 9) The inlet of
the point of Piedra; 10) a river of sweet water; 11) Point and inlet of
Siboro. Evia in his map lists Tampa as being located at latitude 27 and 36'
and longitude 292 West of Tenerife. The small boats drawn on the map mean
that these are places where Evia stopped to take measurements and soundings.
The original map is in color and portrays the various tide limits. I have not
found what the three A's mean. Evia has a report of the Bay which is in the
possession of Professor Holmes who will publish it in a forthcoming book.
But some information of the life of Evia is provided in the Holmes article.
I have discussed briefly three different Spanish maps which I think are
basic for the study of Tampa Bay-these three maps are little known. They
should be added to the Romans map which is the best known. I repeat, in
order to complete the story we must look for the early Braddock chart and the
later Folch map. The historian and anthropologist should also become
acquainted with the written Evia report of Tampa Bay which Professor
CHARLES W. ARNADE
Holmes will publish in his book and the Folch report published by Kin-
naird. I am sure that true and dedicated research will produce additional
sources. The early story of the chartering, exploration and settlement of
Tampa Bay has not yet been told with accuracy. I think it can be done by
tedious but rewarding research.
Arnade, Charles W. "Cattle Raising in Spanish Florida, 1513-1763," Agricultural His-
tory, XXXV (1961), 116-124.
"Florida History in Spanish Archives," Florida Historical Quarterly,
XXXIV (1955), 36-50.
"A Guide to Spanish Florida Source Material," Florida Historical Quar-
terly, XXXV (1957), 320-325.
-- "Mapping and Map Scholars of Early Florida" (unpublished monograph).
"Recent Problems in Florida History," Florida Historical Quarterly, XLII
[British Government.] Catalogue of the Manuscript Maps, Charts, and Plans and of the
Topographical Drawings in the British Museum. 2(?) vols. London, 1861.
[ .] Catalogue of the Maps, Plans and Charts in the Library of the Colonial
Office. No place, 1910. No pagination.
[ ] Catalogue of the Printed Maps, Plans, and Charts in the British Museum.
2 vols. London, 1885.
Brun, Christian, editor. Guide to the Manuscript Maps in the William L. Clements Library.
Ann Arbor, 1959. 209 pp.
Caraci, Giuseppe. "The Reputed Inclusion of Florida in the Oldest Nautical Maps of the
New World," Imago Mundi, XV (1960), 32-39.
Covington, James W. The British Meet the Seminoles. Negotiations between British
Authorities in East Florida and the Indians: 1763-68. Contributions of the Florida
State Museum, Social Sciences, No. 7. Gainesville, 1961. 66 pp.
Cumming, William P. The Southeast in Early Maps. With an Annotated Checklist of
Printed and Manuscript Regional and Local Maps of the Southeastern North America
during the Colonial Period. Princeton, 1958. 275 pp. and maps.
Ellicott, Andrew. The Journal of Andrew Ellicott. Americana Classics, Quadrangle Books.
Chicago, 1962. [1st ed., 1802.1 300 pp., numerous plates.
Gordon, John and Jesse Fish. The Case of Mr. John Gordon with Respect to the Title
to Certain Lands in East Florida.... London, 1772. 32 pp. and long unpaged
Holmes, Jack D. L. "Two Spanish Expeditions to Southwest Florida, 1783-1793," Tequesta
no. XXV (1965).
Hulbert, Archer Butler, editor. The Crown Collection of Photographs of American Maps.
Series I. 5 vols. Cleveland, Ohio, 1907.
editor. The Crown Collection of Photographs of American Maps. Series II.
5 vols. Harrow, England, 1909-1912.
[ editor.] The Crown Collection of Photographs of American Maps. Series
III. [no place, no date; London, 1914-1916?] 250 plates (in 4 vols.), plates 47 to
131 deal with Florida.
Karpinski, L. C. "Atlases of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries," William Clements
Library Bulletin, no. 4 (1924), 4 pp.
"Cartographical Collections in America," Imago Mundi, I (1935), 62-64.
S"Introduction to the Karpinski Collection of Photographs of Maps in
French, Spanish and Portuguese Archives Relating to Colonial America" (loose
handwritten notes, unpublished) in the Karpinski files, Map Division, William
."Manuscript Maps Relating to America in French, Spanish and Portuguese
Archives," American Historical Review, XXXIII (1928), 328-330.
Kinnaird, Lawrence, editor. "Problems of Frontier Defense, 1792-1794," in Annual Report
of the American Historical Association for the Year 1945, Vol. IV: Spain in the
Mississippi Valley, 1765-1794, pp. 237-242. Washington, 1946.
Lowery, Woodbury and Philip Lee Phillips. The Lowery Collection. A Descriptive List
of Maps of the Spanish Possession within the Present Limits of the United States,
1502-1820. Washington, 1912. 567 pp.
Michigan, University of. Bibliography of Publications by Members of the Several
Faculties. Old and new series. 1924-1945. Contains Karpinski bibliography.
Michigan, University of. The Karpinski Collection of Photographic Copies of Early Maps
of America, William Clements Library (no index, no pagination). Maps are
numbered from 1 to 772.
SKarpinski Correspondence, Vertical File, Map Division, William Clements
.L. C. Karpinski folder, Main Library, Reference Desk, Faculty Folders
(contains information for a biography of Prof. Karpinski, 1878-1956).
Phillips, Philip Lee. A List of Maps of America in the Library of Congress Preceded by
a List of Works Relating to Cartography. Washington, 1901. 1137 pp.
Notes on the Life and Works of Bernard Romans. DeLand, Fla., 1924.
Raisz, Erwin and John R. Dunkle, editors. Atlas of Florida. Gainesville, Fla., 1964.
Romans, Bernard. A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida. New York, 1775.
(Reprinted in facsimile in 1962 by the University of Florida Press.) Tampa Bay
map on p. Ixxviii.
Simpson, Clarence J., author, and Mark F. Boyd, editor. Florida Place-Names of Indian
Derivation. State Board of Conservation. Tallahassee, 1956. 158 pp.
[Spanish Government.] Servicio GeogrAfico del Ej6rcito. Cartografia de Ultramar. Carpeta
VI: Estados Unidos y Canada. Madrid, 1953.
Torres Lanzas, Pedro. Relacidn descriptive de los mapas, plans, etc. de Mexico y Florida,
existentes en el Archive General de Indias. Seville, 1900.
True, David O. "Cabot Explorations in North America," Imago Mundi, XIII (1956), 11-25.
"John Cabot's Maps and Voyages," Congresso International de Histdric dos
Descobrimientos (Lisbon), Actas: 11, 1-23. 1961.
"Some Early Maps Relating to Florida," Imago Mundi, XI (1954), 73-84.
Wagner, Herman. "Adolf Erik von Nordenskiold," K. Gessellschaft der Wissenschaften zu
Gottingen, I (1902), 12 pp.
Whitaker, Arthur Preston. Documents Relating to the Commercial Policy of Spain in
the Floridas. DeLand, Fla., 1931.
Wroth, Lawrence C. "Source Materials of Florida History in the John Carter Brown
Library of Brown University," Florida Historical Quarterly, XX (1941), 3-46.
Two Spanish Expeditions
to Southwest Florida, 1783 1793
By JACK D. L. HOLMES
During the critical years between the close of the American Revolution
and the signing of the Treaty of San Lorenzo in 1795, Spain's attention in
North America was focused on the creation of Florida as a bastion of
defense against the encroachments of Spain's enemies. The newly-independ-
ent United States, settlers from which poured ever onward toward Spanish
Florida and Louisiana, was one potential enemy. Another was the English,
with their headquarters in Jamaica and the Bahamas. By 1783 English pri-
vateers operated regularly from Provincetown on the island of Nassau,
and one vengeful Scot even proposed that the governor of Nassau invade
and conquer Spanish Louisiana in 1782.1
In 1783 Spain's brilliant, young commander, Bernardo de Gilvez, fresh
from his triumphs in the West Florida campaigns (1779-1781), ordered an
experienced naval officer at Havana, Jos6 de Evia, to undertake an inspection
of the Gulf coast from Tampa to Tampico.
Joseph Antonio de Evia was born in the northwestern Galician town
of La Grafia in July, 1740. His father, Sim6n de Evia, had already sailed and
mapped the Gulf coast of Louisiana in 1736. Young Jose followed the
family's naval tradition by entering the Royal Naval School at El Ferrol in
1753. His practical training soon followed on such vessels as the Dragon,
the Votante, Magndnimo, San Pio and San Carlos. Evia, who achieved the
ranks of assistant pilot, second pilot and first pilot, sailed frequently from
Cddiz to the New World and back. On one occasion, while he was serving
on a ship off Cartagena de Indias, he helped capture various British vessels.
After the Spanish declared war on the English in 1779, Evia took com-
mand of an armed launch in New Orleans and soon had captured a British
1 Jack D. L. Holmes, "Robert Ross' Plan for an English Invasion of Louisiana, 1782,"
Louisiana History, V, No. 2 (Spring 1964), 161-77.
... "- 'I',
JACK D. L. HOLMES
galeot bound for Fort Bute de Manchak with supplies and reinforcements. In
Mobile Bay, during February 1780, Evia captured another English ship, even
though his own ship was sunk. During the siege of Mobile, Evia supported
the land forces with the artillery of his vessel. Prior to the peace settlement,
Evia sailed with messages from the Conde de Galvez to his various naval
commanders. In 1780, as commander of the packet-boat San Pio, Evia cap-
tured an English frigate of eighteen cannon off the coast of Havana.
After the war, Evia was assigned to duty as adjutant of the Royal Ar-
senals of Havana, but in 1783 he was promoted to frigate ensign and charged
with a highly important commission. In June, Bernardo de GAIvez issued his
instructions to Evia for the exploration and charting of the Gulf coast from
West Florida to St. Bernard Bay, and from Tampico returning to St. Bernard
Bay. The primary concern of the Spaniards was to correct the naval charts
used for navigation of their island sea.2
On September 5, 1783, Evia set sail from Havana on the Comendador
de Marsella, a two-masted lugger. He sailed for Cayo de Huesos (Bone Key),
which he sighted on September 7, and anchored off its northern coast in two
fathoms of water. The latitude at this point was 240 36', according to the
observations made by Evia. He claimed this was seven minutes variation from
the earlier Spanish charts.a
After making several additional observations and taking on water, Evia
left on September 12, sailing a course North by North one-quarter West
toward Punta-Larga, which he reached the following day. After anchoring in
three fathoms of water off the southern tip in the shelter provided against
winds blowing out of the first and fourth quadrants, Evia wrote in his diary,
"I continued cruising along the shore at a distance of one mile from land,
s Jack D. L. Holmes, "Gallegos notables en la Luisiana," Cuadernos de Estudios Galle-
gos, Fasciculo LVII (1964), 110-13.
Diary of all that occurred during an inspection made by First Pilot of the Armada
Jos6 de Evia for the exploration of the coast of West Florida... Havana, December 26,
1783, a copy of which is enclosed in Francisco de Borja y Borja (Captain-general of the
Spanish Armada) to Fray Bailfo Antonio Vald6s y Bazin (Chief of Squadron), No. 132,
Havana, December 31, 1783, Museo Naval (Madrid), MS Vol. 1036. Other copies from
the Museo Naval are in tomo 469, folios 143-48; copy enclosed in Francisco Fernandez
de C6rdoba (Secretary of the Viceroyalty of New Spain) to the Marquis de Sonora
(Jos6 de Gilvez, Minister of the Indies), Mexico, January 5, 1787, in tomos 476 and
291. Another copy is in the Archive General de la Naci6n (Mexico), Historia, tomo 62.
With minor variations, which can be attributed to the scribes, these various copies are
identical. Evia's diaries have been edited by this writer and will be published in
Madrid by Jose Porrua in 1966.
in three fathoms of water and in the direction of Sanibel, keeping a course to
the Northwest and Northwest by one-quarter North."
Evia anchored in a sheltered spot off Sanibel Island in two fathoms of
water. From his anchorage he could see at the distance of two leagues Boca
Ciega, which he described as a sand bar covered with a shallow sea. Further
Northwest was the Boca del Cautivo (Prisoner's Mouth), which boasted a
depth of seven feet. Two leagues further, Evia described the sand bar pro-
tecting Boca Grande: "This is a mile wide and it has a depth of fourteen
While at Sanibel Island, Evia cautioned future navigators attempting to
cruise in those waters: "The anchorage of Sanibel can be found by a palm
grove, located two leagues to the South-the only one appearing on the
coast." Special care should be taken, he warned, to avoid the banks extending
into the sea in the form of sand bars. Although the banks were broken by
apertures at various distances, they should be crossed with great care to
avoid grounding, especially at low tide.
On October 10, Evia inspected present-day Charlotte Harbor and,
accompanied by his carpenter, explored the surrounding hills for a distance
of a league and a half. He found good stands of oak and sabine suitable for
naval construction, together with many fine quality pines, some of which
he described as being twelve feet in circumference. Inasmuch as Havana was
one of the leading naval construction ports in Spanish America, it is easy to
explain Evia's excitement over his discovery.,
Evia later described the inlet of "Mayac,"* which ran for six leagues
from north to south and was fed by a large river of fresh water.' Along the
coast he found good quantities of excellent pine, but he noted they were
virtually inaccessible. The depth of the small gulf was from two to three
fathoms and Evia felt it was suitable only for ships drawing less than ten
The Spanish foot was eleven inches.
Cf. Joseph Piernas' proposal to form a settlement on the Calcasieu River in southwest-
ern Louisiana in 1795, in which he mentions the value of the "innumerable trees for
naval vessel construction." Jack D. L. Holmes (ed.), Documentos iniditos para la
historic de la Luisiana, 1792-1810 (Madrid, 1963), 151. An excellent discussion of
the woods suitable for naval construction found in Louisiana and the Floridas is in
George H. V. (Victor) Collot, A Journey in North America... (2 vols. plus atlas;
Paris, 1826, and reprinted, Florence, 1924). II, 151-58.
Probably Pine Island Sound.
7 This appears to be the Caloosa Hatchee River.